Xavier Marabout is a French artist who has painted a number of artworks depicting the well-known character Tintin in romantic settings including into landscapes of various works of the artist Edward Hopper, including Queensborough Bridge and The Hopper’s Chop Suey.
In early 2021, Marabout was sued for copyright infringement by Moulinsart, a company set up to protect and promote the work of Herge, the creator of Tintin. It was alleged that Marabout was taking advantage of the reputation of a character to immerse Tintin into an “erotic universe”.
In his response, Marabout has claimed the works were a parody. The Court has since agreed with Marabout and rejected the claim form Moulinsart. The Court recognised Marabout’s humorous intent in the paintings. Further, the Court found that Moulinsart has been contacting art galleries which were exhibiting Marabout’s works claiming they were exhibiting infringing art.
The Court ordered Moulinsart to pay Marabout £8,500 in damages as well as £17,000 in legal fees.
Moulinsart now has a month to appeal the decision.
If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.