Santogold Sued By Santo Gold, Opening For Coldplay

By Amrit Singh / June 18, 2008 - 2:22 pm

As always, Stereogum is your one stop shop for Santi White litigation and tourdates news. Santogold’s sorta blowing up, right? Cue the lawsuits. It’s not everyday I get to use my entirely rusted law school skills, so thanks to the Lustigman Firm, P.C. for emailing us their amusing 20-page complaint (it opens by quoting “The rules I break … Me I’m a taker” from the hook of “Creator”!), filed in US Southern District Court of New York against Santogold, Downtown, and Lizard King Records, on behalf of Santo Gold. Who is Santo Gold? Plaintiff refers you to Clause 2 under Nature Of The Action:

Performing as Santo Gold since 1983, Plaintiff Santo Rigatuso has earned a cult following for his unique, and sometimes bizarre songs, movies, and infomercial appearances.

Here are the Santos, side by side:

 

That’s pretty great and is also Stereogum’s EXHIBIT A because along with “infringing” Santo’s “mark,” Plaintiffs allege some image appropriation: namely that Santi had her backup dancers wear sunglasses on national television, and Santo Gold also wore sunglasses. Plaintiff rests, your honor.

Before we go any further: ? is lawyer shorthand for Plaintiff, ? is the symbol for Defendant. So! ? allege that by ? releasing and marketing Santogold, and buying up Santogold-related domains (aside from santogold.com, which was already registered by ?), Santogold is “crushing ?’s hopes of continuing his music and acting career.” Hahahaha. Oh you probably don’t get why that’s funny yet. Ladies and gentlemen, we proudly present in person, Santo Gold:

I think we can all agree it’s definitely Santogold that is the biggest obstacle to Santo Gold’s future in entertainment. This one is pretty great because the intro features Sydney Pollack! If Sydney Pollack was a terrible actor and in the intro to an infomercial for Santo Gold:

Worth noting, ? allege that Santogold gave an interview to trashmenagerie.com in which she admitted to wearing jewelry similar to ?. Also worth noting, the complaint makes specific mention of the Bud Light and Converse campaigns. Which is smart lawyering, but also sorry testimony to the decrepit state of affairs within the music industry: even Santo Gold knew the suit wouldn’t be worth filing on record sales alone.

Santo Gold seeks an injunction barring ? from the use of “Santogold” or anything “substantially similar”; compensatory damages (i.e. cash money); profits incurred from use of “the infringing mark”; and, awesomely, recall and destruction of all ?’s items already in commerce infringing on the “Santo Gold” mark. However, my legal skills suggest he could settle out of court for a free pair of Converse and a six pack of Bud Light.

I’m no expert on Lanham Act litigation (music/art law, corporate securities, and international law, at your service) and all of this may seem frivolous, but as Dan Snaith can tell you, it is no joke. Santi if you need an unqualified lawyer, email me. In happier Santogold news, she’s been tapped to open two legs of the Coldplay tour. (The guys have good taste in openers — remember, they brought out Black Mountain back in the X&Y days). Here are all of Santi’s dates:

07/20 – New York, NY @ Central Park SummerStage (headlining)
07/23 – Chicago, IL @ United Center (supporting Coldplay)
07/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wachovia Center (supporting Coldplay)
07/29 – Montreal @ Bell Center (supporting Coldplay)
07/30 – Toronto @ Air Canada Center (supporting Coldplay)
08/02 – Hartford, CT @ XL Center (supporting Coldplay)
08/03 – Washington DC @ Verizon Center (supporting Coldplay)
08/04 – Boston, MA @ TB Banknorth Garden (supporting Coldplay)

Go see her. She’s good live. And hold on to that copy of Santogold … it may become a collector’s item.