The Saga Continues

Friday, April 22, 2016

Martin Shkreli Was Dropped From the Wu-Tang Clan Illustration Lawsuit

Back in February, a strange lawsuit was brought against both Martin Shkreli andRZA of the Wu-Tang Clan surrounding the much-hyped, one-of-a-kind album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin. A Long Island-based artist named Jason Koza sued both parties after discovering that some of his illustrations were used in the leather booklet that accompanies the album without his permission. Although he had been contacted about possibly contributing artwork to the album, he claimed nothing was ever finalized and that he did not know his work would make the final version.

Now, it looks like Shkreli caught a lucky break. According to a report from Billboard, he has officially been dropped from the lawsuit. Although he was only a secondary figure in the suit—which claimed he was partially responsible since he had purchased the album and shown it off to a Vice reporter in a video interview—it's nonetheless very good news for him. "Mr. Shkreli did not agree to any conditions or pay any form of settlement in exchange for being dismissed from the case," his lawyer said to Billboard. "In our view it is likely that Mr. Koza recognized that he would be unable to maintain an infringement claim against Mr. Shkreli in light of the fair use doctrine."

The invocation of the "Fair Use Doctrine" is probably key to his dismissal. Media companies retain the right to use and publish parts of a work when they are reporting on or critiquing it. As such, Shkreli showing the artwork off to a reporter, even if its use was unauthorized to begin with, probably wouldn't constitute any kind of copyright violation. While he remains one of the most hated people in America, it looks pretty unlikely that he'll be shelling out any cash in this case. RZA and the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan's legal fate remains to be seen.


1 comment:

  1. This has kept me interested, the whole drama surrounding this album (controversy surrounding Chivaringz, RZA and the other members (Raekwon, Method Man, and Ghostface Killah being annoyed with the whole "88 year thing"), mainly because for me, the fact this album got a one release is a challenge for the generation of anything can be leaked. Is it possible that if Koza ends up suing the Wu-Tang and Paddle 8 and (knock on wood) ends up winning the case, is it possible that would result in the album being and forced into dismissing the 88-Year rule?