Kid Rock is asking a federal judge to toss out a lawsuit against him filed by Feld Entertainment over his use of the phrase “Greatest Show on Earth,” arguing that the singer has already changed his tour name because of the legal dispute and that any further litigation interferes with his right to free speech.
The move comes after Rock defeated an attempt by Feld’s attorneys to secure a preliminary injunction preventing him from using the phrase on his 2018 tour in support of his new album. “The Greatest Show on Earth” is the opening track on the record and the injunction (which the judge indicated could be refiled with more information from Feld) would have prevented Rock from selling t-shirts and other merchandise with the phrase. Feld owns the trademark for the phrase “The Greatest Show on Earth” through its subsidiaries Combined Shows and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
With the original lawsuit still hanging over the Kid Rock tour, the singer’s lawyer is accusing Feld of “ignoring the proverbial ‘elephant in the room,’” meaning his first amendment rights, which he argues are “insurmountable obstacles to Plaintiffs’ ability to state any viable claims.”
“The significant First Amendment implications of this case warrant an expeditious dismissal with prejudice,” Rock’s attorney Shane B. Vogt wrote in the Jan. 30 filing. “It is clear on the face of Plaintiffs’ Complaint that all of their claims are barred by the First Amendment.”
A spokesperson for Feld tells Amplify “We will of course oppose this motion. What they ignore is we asked them to stop using our trademark and they did not do so until we filed a lawsuit.”