Hit TV Show EMPIRE Is Being Sued

Blurred lines causing a  bit of trouble for the entertainment industry. No this is not about the 'Pharell Vs The Gaye family' drama but the blurred lines between real life and the fictional world of the Lyons on TV's hottest new show EMPIRE. The real life record label that bears the name "Empire" is suing the show's creators for the use of the name.

“Empire” was a ratings juggernaut this year in the states and while in Mzansi it doesn't command the same ratings pull, it is still one of the most talked about shows of the season. Apparently not everyone is a fan.

Problem?! Well ... The show follows the ups and downs of fictional record label Empire Entertainment, and now, the real life Empire Distribution claims the show is infringing on its trademark.

In particular, the real life Empire is concerned about the show’s no. 1 soundtrack, which has been dominating the iTunes charts since it was released earlier this month, so they have now filed an lawsuit.
“Fox, through the ‘Empire’ program, advertises, distributes, and streams music and sells downloads under the ‘Empire’ mark. This music shares the same search terms as EMPIRE’s music, the musical genres are identical, and the songs and albums are positioned in close proximity in online outlets such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon.com, and Spotify,” Empire Distribution founder and CEO Ghazi Shami said in a press release sent to MTV News on Wednesday (Mar. 25). 
“It isn’t just a fictional show; they are functioning as a record label in the real world. This only makes the public confusion worse.”

Empire: Original Soundtrack From Season 1 is distributed by Columbia Records and features popular songs from the show like “Drip Drop” and “You’re So Beautiful.” The tracks are mostly performed by the show’s actors and artists Jussie Smollett and Yazz, but also features tracks from more established musicians like Jennifer Hudson and Rita Ora. 

Empire Distribution was established in 2010 by partnering with artists like Kendrick Lamar and Cam’ron to distribute some of their biggest hits independently.
“Empire was started over five years before the first broadcast of the show, the marks are identical, and they sell the same products to the same customers. The significant number of incidents of actual public confusion is disturbing,” said Michael Hobbs, an attorney representing Empire Distribution.
According to the release, the real life Empire reached out to FOX to try and resolve the matter, but now are taking things to court.

 Source: MTV.

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