Kittie Threatened With Lawsuit
Band Photo: Kittie (?)
The producers of "America's Hot Musician", the reality competition for instrumental artists which features ex-KITTIE bassist Talena Atfield as one of the judges, are threatening legal action against KITTIE for having possibly "tortiously interfered with [their] business."
According to a press release issued by American Youth Symphony (AYS), producers of the show, federal court documents in AYS's lawsuit against Oxygen Media LLC recently revealed that Oxygen claims to have received notice of a cease-and-desist letter on May 14, 2007 from a law firm on behalf of the Canadian all-girl metal band KITTIE threatening immediate legal action if the program aired on the network. This allegedly took place one week before AYS received a cease-and-desist letter from KITTIE on May 21, 2007, which was subsequently posted on the Internet by the show's producers.
AYS Artistic Director Gregory Charles Royal said in a statement, "If we find out that what is alleged of KITTIE is indeed true, that they tortiously interfered with our business, notwithstanding the fact that they had no claim whatsoever to any infringement of copyrighted material within our program, they will be singing for their supper for a long time."
Royal contends that KITTIE crossed the line when it extended the threat of unfounded legal action to third parties.
KITTIE served American Youth Symphony a cease-and-desist letter for their use of clips from the band's video "All I Always Wanted" in the show's opening theme.
AYS, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote instrumental music in the MTV/hip hop generation, says it was given permission to use the clips by Sheridan Square Entertainment, which owns licensing rights to the video.
Atfield, who has been estranged from KITTIE for several years, is one of the judges on the program which has been shot through the semi-finals but which is on hold pending further developments in the Oxygen lawsuit.
In an August 19, 2007 interview conducted by Bob Suehs of Rock N Roll Experience, KITTIE drummer Mercedes Lander stated about Atfield's involvement with "America's Hot Musician", "It's not really a reality show, it's an infomercial, and it's not being broadcast anywhere, so we really don't care... We don't care what she does. I mean at the end of the day, we are still doing what we love to do." Mercedes' sister Morgan, who plays guitar and sings for KITTIE added, "I mean, she obviously is allowed to move on with her life too, but at the same time, using our likeness is a big no-no and there was a bit of a dispute about that and there's not really much more we can say about it other than, we took it to the Oxygen network and they dropped the show because they were using our music without our permission and I mean, Mercedes and I wrote the song." Mercedes continued, "On top of that, we also own our own publishing, so in order for them to use that, they need our consent." Morgan then offered, "And they probably need to pay us too, but they are still allowed to use her likeness."
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