Anish Kapoor, the British sculptor of "Cloud Care" located in Chicago's Millennium Park, has accused the National Rifle Association (NRA) of using his sculpture without permission. The sculptor lodged a claim at the US District for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, for copyright infringement.
The NRA published a recruiting video in June 2017 that featured the sculpture. In March 2018, Kapoor wrote an open letter publicly deriding the video, stating he was "shocked and outraged" that his sculpture featured in a video promoting the use of guns and violence, and advertising membership of the organisation. He filed for infringement at court three months later.
Kapoor created the sculpture out of stainless steel plates and it has acquired the nickname "The Bean" due to its shape. The Millennium centerpiece took around six years to make and was finally finished in 2005. Kapoor has claimed to be the sole owner of the copyright for Cloud Care, which he registered with the US Copyright Office in 2016.
The NRA did not ask permission to use Cloud Care, and Kapoor has said that he would not have given it permission to do so even if it had asked. It has been widely reported that the NRA has refused Kapoor's request for the sculpture to be removed from the video.
Kapoor is seeking statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement, and claims that the number of infringements should be determined at trial. He also seeks interest, compensatory damages and an injunction to prevent further illegal exploitation of the sculpture.
Although such sum will be difficult to quantify, Kapoor is also claiming a share of the profits of the NRA with respect to new memberships received as a result of the recruitment video.
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