Feb 12, 2021

What would Miles say - Give It Up?

On 7 February 2021, a Los Angeles photographer brought a claim for copyright infringement against well-known tattoo artist, model and entrepreneur, Kat Von D, in the Californian Federal Court.

Jeffery Sedlik claims he is the sole owner of the copyright in the iconic photograph he took of legendary jazz musician, Miles Davis, which was created in 1989. Due to the popularity of the image, Sedlik claims to have sold non-exclusive licenses to third parties to reproduce the work on items such as posters and t-shirts.

On 18 March 2017, Von D posted on her social media Instagram page a photograph showing herself tattooing Sedlik’s photo of Davis onto a third party. On Von D’s Instagram page, she exclaimed how she had never tattooed a portrait of Miles Davis before to her 7 million followers. It is alleged Von D does not have Sedlik’s consent to reproduce his work in this manner.

Sedlik is claiming for statutory damages of $150,000 per work that depicts his iconic portrait as well as an injunction to stop Von D from continuing to use the portrait for any future tattoos. Sedlik is also claiming all existing content referencing the image is to be removed and/or destroyed.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniels Law on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.

Posted by: Tom Staveley in: Copyright

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