UK MMO developer Mind Candy has lost a court case against the pop star Lady Gaga over its Moshi Monsters character Lady Goo Goo.
On Monday the courts granted an injuction preventing the company 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."
Lawyers for Lady Gaga argued that young children may have trouble differentiating the cartoon monster from the American pop star.
"This court ruling is a huge disappointment. It's pretty obvious that kids will be able to tell the difference between the two characters," said CEO Michael Acton Smith.
"The shame is that millions of kids fell in love with Lady Goo Goo's debut single on YouTube and now won't be able to enjoy her musical exploits. It was all done in the name of fun and we would have thought that Lady Gaga could have seen the humour behind this parody."
Lady Goo Goo, a moshling character from the children's MMO that has over 50 million registered users, scored millions of hits when a video for her song The Moshi Dance was posted on YouTube. The character will still appear in Moshi Monsters, but the songs The Moshi Dance or Peppy-razzi, will not.
"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," Alastair Shaw, counsel for law firm Hogan Lovells told The Guardian.
"This may be particularly important for tribute acts or characters with names which are similar to the original acts, as they frequently are, who want to comercialise a track parodying a well-known song."
Mind Candy's music division, Moshi Music, intended to release the track on iTunes, and as part of an album later in the year.
Back in July GamesIndustry.biz spoke to Acton Smith about his plans to expand on the MMO's huge popularity.
"Our objective is not just to build an online game, we want to build this massive new type of entertainment company," he explained.
"That does mean we need to everywhere that our audience wants us, and that does mean console, and magazines and books. I want our live show to sell out the O2 and have holograms and pyrotechnics and screaming fans."