Breaking news from the extensive world of 80′s guitar player nickname litigation, a subject that I am sure is near and dear to your hearts.
Durant was sued today in Federal Court by a guy named Mark Durante — a guitarist who, according to the lawsuit, was a big deal in the 80s … playing with Public Enemy, The Aliens, The Next Big Thing, and (our favorite) The Revolting Cocks.
TMZ obtained a copy of the lawsuit, in which Durante says he adopted the name “Durantula” for his “on-stage and performance persona” — and has used it to market “music, recordings, apparel, t-shirts, guitars, and related merchandise.” [...]
Durante claims he sent KD’s people a couple letters “demanding they stop using the nickname” — but says Durant’s reps claimed he wasn’t using it.
In the suit though, Durante claims Nike has used the moniker to launch a shoe campaign — and KD himself signed “Durantula” on basketballs that are for sale through his website.
The guitarist says he registered the “Durantula” trademark. He’s suing for damages and an injunction stopping KD from using the name.
Oh no. Kind of worried here, you guys. As the legend goes, the Durantula nickname was created by the internet’s Rob Mahoney many years ago, only to be popularized by the hosts of a certain internet basketball show called The Basketball Jones. One of their hosts even posted on a popular internet web log about the nickname, declaring for all the world to see that Kevin Durant shall be called Durantula from now until eternity. I am loathe to mention these facts because I don’t want us to get dragged in to this mess, but that’s the origin story and that’s why I’m kind of nervous for Skeets and Tas. Testifying in front of a federal nicknames court must be harrowing.
The problem for Durant is that there are definitely people who have sold “Durantula” stuff, including the Thunder. When there are websites readily selling this kind of stuff — and when one of those websites is allegedly your own — it’s kind of hard to argue that you’re not using the nickname. He might not have chosen it, but he’s certainly associated with it. I have no idea how nickname law works as I am mostly a bird law expert, but that can’t help.
However, the good part is that no one who hears “Durantula” in this day and age thinks, “Oh, the guitarist from the Revolting Cocks?” Good luck to this guy trying to prove that he is the one true Durantula when every Bing result for the nickname turns up pictures of Kevin Durant. Maybe he can have Lawrence Taylor testify that he is still upset that LaDainian Tomlinson stole his nickname, but otherwise, I’m not so sure how well this work out for Mark Durante. I know Tas and Skeets certainly aren’t going to be any help, so good luck with this totally non-frivolous lawsuit.