Copyrights ownership is big deal in the artistic world.
For instance, Jay-Z, Dame Dash, and Biggs are the original owners of Roc-A-Fella Records. In 1995, they hired Dwayne Walker (a NYC clothing designer) to design a logo for their soon-to-be multi-million dollar making record label. At that time, RR contracted his work for $3,500 along with a 2% royalty payment on all products sold carrying the logo. Mr. Walker claims that this agreement was stated to last until year 2015.
According to Walker’s legal suit, RR would have made up to $7 million (to-date) in products sold carrying the logo.
Walker claims copyright infringement in his suit, filed in Manhattan Federal Court. “The logo has become universally recognized as an iconic symbol of Jay-Z, one of the most successful recording artists in the history of popular music,” the suit states, according to the Daily News.
For educational purposes, when a logo (or artwork) is created by an individual, it is automatically protected under copyright law. But, when a person is hired under contract to design an artwork for a company, the copyright law protection varies. It depends on the contract agreement both parties signed off on. Roc-A-Fella Records has not publicly exposed what that agreement was in Mr. Walker’s case.
Roc-A-Fella Records is now legally owned by Universal Music Group. It is not confirmed how UMG’s ownership will play out in this lawsuit.
Statement from Jay-Z’s camp still pending.
Filed Under: The Receipt
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