Another great article by Carolyn E. Wright covering the Lil’ Kim copyright infringement case. Lil’ Kim stole Makeup Artist Samantha Ravndahl’s work to promote her latest single Dead Gal Walking and violated just about every copyright law on the books. If Samantha’s lawyers loose this case then pretty much anything can be stolen on the internet and used to make money without the artist permission or compensation.
You be the judge:
Li’l Kim’s image for her new single
Samantha’s published makeup work
“Back in October, Canadian artist Samantha Ravndahl produced a step-by-step tutorial on how to create a “glam zombie” look using makeup and posted it to her Instagram and other social media outlets.
About a month later, Lil’ Kim announced cover for her new single “Dead Gal Walking” and, much to Ravndahl’s surprise, the cover was her image with only slight retouching.
That kicked off a flurry activity that saw Ravndahl try to get in touch with Lil’ Kim’s camp and resolve the issue but, after more than two months of trying, Ravndahl gave up and, earlier this week, filed suit against the singer, her agent and others involved.
On the surface, this looks to be a pretty straightforward case. If Ravndahl’s description of what happened is accurate, then the use is a definite infringement and, to put it modestly, an egregious one. But the actual lawsuit raises some issues, questions and concerns that should have every photographer paying attention as they could set the tone for how photographers are positioned in similar cases down the road.
Reading the complaint, the bulk of the argument centers, as one would expect, around the traditional copyright violation. By taking the photo and using it as a cover for the single, Lil’ Kim’s camp made a variety of unauthorized, commercial copies of the work, posting it to various social media platforms and using it in promotional material.
While this is definitely an extreme example of copyright infringement, it’s also fairly straightforward. For all of the case’s egregiousness, the issues here are fairly mundane. If it is indeed Ravndahl’s photo and Lil’ Kim did not have a license for it, then it is an infringement – end of story.
However, the complaint also made a series of other arguments that are much less common and could play a big role in determining just how large of a lawsuit this becomes”.
Why You Should Watch the Lil’ Kim Copyright Infringement Case