RCA Sued Over Art Featured in Elle Varner Video
RCA Records and Sony Music has been slapped with a lawsuit over artwork that was allegedly used in Elle Varner's colorful video 'Only 'Wanna Give It to You.' According to the Hollywood Reporter, Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist Maya Hayuk claims that her original artwork titled 'Sunshine' is featured prominently in the R&B songbird's video.
The said artwork in question is also featured in rapper Rye Rye's video 'Sunshine,' featuring M.I.A. In the clip, the two perform in front of the mural on a beautiful summer day.
According to Hayuk's complaint, she believes that Varner's video contains "videographic reproductions of Hayuk’s Sunshine" mural and "adds greatly to its mise-en-scéne." She further claims that RCA and Sony are illegally profiting off her work.
Hayuk is seeking statutory damages up to $150,000 per infringement and a preliminary injunction to prevent the video from being played on video channels.
This legal matter is reminiscent of a previous lawsuits filed by artists against singers over artistic images in a music video. Most notably, photographer David LaChapelle who sued Rihanna over her dominatrix-themed video 'S&M.' The shutterbug claimed that RiRi used images from his iconic photographs to create her video. LaChapelle and Rihanna eventually settled the case for an undisclosed sum.
As for the RCA Records lawsuit, we hope that both parties can settle this matter civilly. The video helped launch the career of Elle Varner and she certainly doesn't need any roadblocks at this point.
Here are the two videos in question:
Watch the Elle Varner 'Only Wanna Give It To You' Video Feat. J. Cole
Watch the Rye Rye 'Sunshine' Video Feat. M.I.A.