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Artist claims Walmart, Degeneres committed copyright violation

On Behalf of | Aug 13, 2019 | Copyright Law

Creating an original design or other work of art can be deeply meaningful for artists. As a result, it can be anger-inducing when that design appears on someone else’s products or otherwise used without permission. In some cases, this type of scenario could involve a copyright violation, and legal action could be warranted.

New York readers may be interested in a claim that was recently filed by a street artist. The artist, Julian Rivera, has filed a lawsuit against Ellen Degeneres and Walmart after one of his designs appeared on clothing that Degeneres created for sale at Walmart. The design in question is a line drawing of a heart with the word “love” inside in cursive writing. Rivera claims that the use of his design in this commercial way could damage his reputation and diminish the value of his work.

The artist also stated that he used the design like a signature for his work and that it has also appeared on products he sold through his website. Rivera reportedly attempted to contact Walmart and Degeneres about the copyright infringement earlier this year, but Walmart stated that the design was not copied and differed from Rivera’s. The artist hopes that a successful case will result in the removal of all infringing products as well as compensation for monetary damages.

When individuals believe that their work has been used without permission, it can be difficult to know what to do. As this case shows, filing a legal claim for the copyright violation may be necessary, especially if other attempts to discuss the matter are unsuccessful. If New York artists, writers or other individuals with copyrighted material believe that their works have been used without authorization, they may wish to speak with attorneys experienced in this area of law.