U.S. News | Photographer Sues Katherine Von Over Miles Davis Tattoo

Image Credit: © Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch

Los Angeles-based photographer, Jeffrey B. Sedlik has filed a lawsuit in the California Central District Court against celebrity tattoo artist, Kat Von D for copyright infringement.

The plaintiff alleges that the defendant infringed on his copyright by using his photo of an iconic jazz musician, Miles Davis as a tattoo for a client without his permission or authorization to reproduce the photo.

The plaintiff reportedly said that it created the iconic portrait of Davis in 1989, and the photo was subsequently published in a cover story in JAZZIZ magazine in August 1989 and several other magazines around the world including LIFE magazine under the pictures of the year issue.

The plaintiff reportedly said that the defendant used its photo to create a tattoo that she drew on a client’s arm and publicized this tattoo image several times on social media.

The plaintiff reportedly affirms that the photo has long been sold with a non-exclusive license for reproduction, distribution, and display ever since its creation back in 1989.

The plaintiff alleges that the defendant took creation credit for the photo and further distributed the unauthorized photographs of her unlawful derivate work to millions of social media followers.

The photographer reportedly said he reached out to the defendant to settle the dispute out of court, but his efforts to reach a worthy resolution were futile.

Jeffrey is demanding that Kat Von D remove all instances of his photo and the tattoo derivative image from all print, Web, and social media platforms.

The plaintiff is seeking payment for statutory damages, profits earned from the photo tattoo, losses incurred by the infringement, as well as other fees incurred from the legal battle.

The case is ongoing.

Jeffrey B. Sedlik v. Katherine Von Drachenberg et al

Judge: Christina A Snyder
Court: California Central District Court
Case #: 2:21-cv-01102
Nature of Suit: Copyright 
Cause: Copyright Infringement
Case Filed: Feb 07, 2021
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About Nathaniel Adebayo 656 Articles
Nathaniel is a News Reporting Intern at Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch (NLIPW). He has a passion for writing, capacity building and social media marketing. He is a graduate of Federal University of Technology, Minna, where he graduated with BTECHAGRIC. He is a member of Soil Science Society of Nigeria (SSSN) and the National Union of Campus Journalist (NUCJ). Nathaniel has served as Editor-in-Chief for a number of magazines and as a contributor to various online repositories. Email: anathaniel@nlipw.com

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