Kid Rock Will Keep Greatest Show on Earth Tour Name Despite Lawsuit
The Detroit Daily Tribune reports that a U.S. Federal District Court judge in Florida has ruled the rapper, rock and sometime country singer has the right to bill his tour as the Greatest Show on Earth despite a lawsuit filed by Feld Entertainment in December. Feld owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which used The Greatest Show on Earth as its slogan for decades. Feld still earns money from licensing the associated intellectual property, including the phrase, court documents claim.
A judge denied Feld’s request for an injunction, ruling that Kid Rock has a right to free expression and finding that Feld had not demonstrated that his use of the phrase would damage the circus' reputation.
Kid Rock announced his 2018 Greatest Show on Earth Tour in July of 2017, and Feld's filing alleged he did not have legal permission and accused Kid Rock and concert promoter Live Nation of trademark dilution and infringement, unfair competition, injury to business reputation and unjust enrichment. The lawsuit asked the court to stop the use of the slogan in connection with the tour and related merchandise, and also asked for profits connected to the use of the phrase, as well as triple unspecified damages.
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Kid Rock announced he would change the name of his tour to the American Rock n Roll Tour 2018 just prior to launching the road trek in Nashville on Jan. 19, but he was defiant in his statement, saying he still thought he had the right to name his tour after his song "Greatest Show on Earth," from his latest album, Sweet Southern Sugar.
"While I firmly believe that I am entitled under the First Amendment to name my tour after my song, I have changed the tour name because I do not want this lawsuit to distract me or my fans from focusing on what is important in my upcoming tour — my music," he wrote.
The new court ruling appears to validate that opinion, but Feld's lawsuit over Kid Rock's use of the phrase the Greatest Show on Earth is still ongoing.
Kid Rock caused another controversy 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. A political watchdog group called Common Cause claimed he had violated election laws by declaring his candidacy for a U.S. Senate seat but failing to register his candidacy or report financial contributions to his campaign. According to the Daily Tribune, he also announced that he donated $122,000 from merchandise sales pertaining to the "campaign" to the College Republican National Committee’s CRNC Action voter registration drive. The organization staged registration tables at Kid Rock’s concerts in 2017.
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