Kid Rock Sued Over Upcoming Greatest Show on Earth Tour
The entertainment company that owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has filed suit against Kid Rock over his use of the phrase "the Greatest Show on Earth" to advertise and promote his upcoming tour.
Feld Entertainment owns the circus and all of its associated intellectual property. The company brought the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus shows to an end in May of 2017 after nearly 150 years, but it still makes money from licensing the intellectual property, including the signature phrase "the Greatest Show on Earth."
Kid Rock announced his 2018 Greatest Show on Earth Tour in July, and Feld Entertainment alleges he did so without permission. In a lawsuit filed in U.S. district court in Tampa, Fla., on Friday (Dec. 22), Feld Entertainment accused Kid Rock and concert promoter Live Nation of trademark dilution and infringement, unfair competition, injury to business reputation and unjust enrichment, according to Reuters, who obtained court documents.
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"We have authorized licensees for Ringling Bros. and the Greatest Show on Earth, but Kid Rock is not one of them,” Feld's general counsel, Lisa Joiner, said in a statement on Friday.
The filing also claims that multiple requests to Kid Rock and Live Nation to stop using the slogan went ignored. The suit asks the court to halt the unauthorized use of the slogan in connection with Kid Rock’s tour and merchandise and asks for profits derived from the slogan’s use, as well as triple unspecified damages.
Kid Rock — whose real name is Robert Ritchie — recorded his most recent album, Sweet Southern Sugar, in Nashville and released it via BBR Music Group, a country label.
The outspoken performer also caused a flap earlier in 2017 after launching a website announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate and using it to sell T-shirts and other associated merchandise. That caused a political watchdog group called Common Cause to claim he had violated election laws by declaring himself as a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat, but failing to register his candidacy or report financial contributions to his campaign. Common Cause filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission and asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate whether Kid Rock violated federal election laws.
In an interview with Howard Stern on Oct. 24, Kid Rock not only admitted his "campaign" had been a joke all along, he openly mocked anyone who had believed the notion.
“Who couldn’t figure that out?” he asked rhetorically. “I’m releasing a new album. I’m going on tour too. Are you f--king sh---ing me?”
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