Law goes gaga over Goo Goo

Lady Gaga has won an injunction to stop animated character Lady Goo Goo from releasing a single. Does this set a dangerous precendent for IP?

by Dave Waller
Last Updated: 26 Oct 2011
Lady Goo Goo is a baby from the Moshi Monsters online game, owned by UK firm Mind Candy, which released The Moshi Dance video on YouTube to more than 3m hits. Its owners had planned to release the song - which features lines including ‘my stroller's pretty and my diapers are silk, I throw my toys out if I don't get my milk’ on iTunes - but its full release has now been blocked by an injunction by pop star Lady Gaga. Clearly she’s threatened by the arrival of someone equally two-dimensional who can rival her for lyrical quality.

The Moshi Monsters website allows children to adopt a virtual pet monster, and has gained more than 50m users since it was launched in 2008. Half of six to 12-year-olds apparently use the site. No surprise then that it’s dubbed ‘Facebook for kids’, or that owner Mind Candy is valued at £125m.

According to the company, the injunction was granted at London's High Court this week preventing it from ‘promoting, advertising, selling, distributing or otherwise making available to the public The Moshi Dance’, or ‘any musical work or video which purports to be performed by a character by the name of Lady Goo Goo, or which otherwise uses the name Lady Goo Goo or any variant thereon’.

The company argues that it sets a ‘worrying precedent for other parody acts and tribute bands’. Indeed, we wonder what this means for the other Moshi Monsters. Will Justin Bieber now be getting all litigious with Dustbin Beaver? What about 49 Pence and Broccoli Spears? And in the wider world, how about the brilliantly-named AC/DShe, the all-female tribute to Australia’s greatest rockers?

For now Mind Candy is left with the option of killing off Lady Goo Goo, admitting they’d thought Lady Gaga would’ve seen the humour behind the parody. Clearly not. In fact they should have known better than to mess with Lady Gaga and her IP: just look at how she went after the Icecreamists ice-cream store in Covent Garden, which was selling Baby Gaga ice-cream – made from human breast milk. Gaga said the flavour was ‘nausea-inducing’. This from a woman who likes to turn up at awards ceremonies wearing dresses made of meat.

More disturbing is her habit of going after people for their choice of name, when she’s the one who opted to adopt the well-established phrase in the first place. When you choose as your moniker the most basic sound that a human being can ever produce, you have to be gaga to think other people can’t use it…

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