US graffiti artist Rime has caused fireworks by bringing a claim against one of the major fashion houses.
His mural ‘Vandal eyes’ was copied on to a Moschino dress which was subsequently worn by Katy Perry at the 2015 Met Ball. Whilst we have yet to hear from the designers, they may have difficulty in establishing a defence to copyright infringement (although under US law there may be a ‘fair use’ defence). If the claim had been made in the UK, this could give rise to issues such as additional damages and moral rights including derogatory treatment.
The lawsuit alleges that not only did Moschino use Rime’s mural as part of Katy Perry’s dress, but that they also used his signature and name on the on other designs they created as part of the collection.
Whilst a claim for copyright infringement in the signature may well succeed, in the UK it may also have a claim for passing off in respect of the unauthorised endorsement of those products rather than bring a claim for copyright infringement of the signature and name.
Street artist Rime alleges that Moschino dress, designed by Jeremy Scott and worn by Perry, ripped off his artwork