“Stripper Idol”? It is happening, on a strip club in Austin, Texas. And it's something that American Idol
isn't happy about.
FremantleMedia, the company which owns the rights to the hit reality show which returns tomorrow night on Fox, has sued the Palazio Men's Club in federal court, claiming that the establishment's “Stripper Idol” contest—which sees girls dance topless for a minute, for a chance to win $500 determined by audience applause—is a violation of its trademark, which tarnishes the Idol
brand and could lead the public to believe that the show is sponsoring the event.
Representatives for FremantleMedia have not answered calls regarding the suit, but the company is reportedly seeking to end the contest and take whatever profits the club earned. For the managers of Palazio, however, it's a little more complicated: they believe their contest has no resemblance to Idol the television show. “It's shocking,” Scott Stevenson, the club's operations manager, said. “We're just a local company. It's not like we're some big threat.”
The suit is actually more concerned with the way the contest is promoted, more than the contest itself. Apart from the use of the word “idol”, the logo for the contest closely resembles that of American Idol
's, in terms of font, color and design. The logo is used both in posters and in revealing shirts worn by the club's waitresses.
As for the folks at Palazio, they're still contending that the lawsuit isn't necessarily. After thinking that the case is a joke—they first found out, after all, on an article on gossip site TMZ—they've expressed that they're open to changing the logo, while maintaining that “[you can't] copyright an oval.”
And the contest? The sizeable media attention has attracted people towards the bar, and to the contest itself. It's been running for roughly three weeks now, and while FremantleMedia refuses to elaborate on the suit, the contest still continues.
-Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: The Dallas Morning News
(Image courtesy of Fox)