Lady Gaga has won an injunction in London's High Court which bans the release of a music single by the popular kids' cartoon character known as Lady Goo Goo. Lady Goo Goo is a thinly-disguised, diaper-wearing spoof of the famous singer, and one of fifty-two cartoon characters on the UK website Moshi Monsters — known as "Facebook for kids" — which has fifty-million users worldwide.
Lady Goo Goo, like her real-life inspiration, is an insanely popular product, having racked up over 3.5 million YouTube views of a video called "The Moshi Dance" (think "my stroller's pretty and my diapers are silk/ throw my toys out if I don't get my milk"), and the song had been available on iTunes since September 18, the first release for the Moshi Monster record label. (Mo Moshi, mo problems.)
Gaga's lawyers claimed that fans might assume that the animated character who sang a tune called "Peppy-razzi" would have the imprimatur and blessing of the actual person who sang "Paparazzi." It's cute and all, but there was just too much money to be made off her image. The founder of Moshi Monsters' parent company Mind Candy, Michael Acton Smith, was understandably not thrilled with the decision. He said:
"This court ruling is a huge disappointment. It's pretty obvious that kids will be able to tell the difference between the two characters. It was all done in the name of fun and we would have thought that Lady Gaga could have seen the humor behind this parody."
The judge did rule, however, that the too-cute-for-her-own-patootie Goo Goo can still appear in a Moshi Monsters game, minus the copycat song. So Michael Acton Smith can still make bank off the real Lady Gaga, who, interestingly and famously, took her own stage name from a Queen song, with the help of music producer Rob Fusari.
Gaga has been a pretty fierce protector of her brand, having earlier this year threatened legal action against an ice-cream parlor for naming their breast-milk ice cream, "Baby Gaga," as well as filed a lawsuit against a cosmetics company last month for a trademark violation. A lawyer in the case, Alastair Shaw, said, "Tribute bands and parody songs have been around for years, but what this case shows is the potential power of registered trademark law to put a stop to some of their activities."