Graffiti artist sues Moschino for copyright infringement
By Vivian Hendriksz
Aug 7, 2015
London - Although Jeremy Scott, creative director for Moschino is known for his quirky and cartoonish design preference, he may have taken his one source of inspiration a little too literal. A graffiti artist named Joseph Tierney, who also goes by the street name Rime has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Scott and Moschino for using his artwork on their designs without his permission or consent.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed earlier this week in a federal California court, Scott "inexplicably" copied Rime's artwork from a mural made in Detroit in 2012 and used it on designs for Moschino's Autumn/Winter 2015 collection, "without his knowledge or consent". The lawsuit accuses Scott of adding his own signature to the copied artwork to make it seem more original, whilst adding Rime's name and false signature onto other Moschino designs. "If this literal misappropriation were not bad enough, Moschino and Jeremy Scott did their own painting over that of the Artist - superimposing the Moschino and Jeremy Scott brand names in spray-paint style as if part of the original work," stated the lawsuit.
In addition, the same artwork was featured on the dress worn by Katy Perry to the annual Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute Gala and Scott's dinner coat, where they were excessively photographed. The duo are said to have arrived at the event with fake Moschino spray cans in hand, to suggest they created the art work. "Such notoriety was obviously the goal," added the suit. "The Defendants [Scott and Moschino] were obviously thrilled with how the episode played out. The only person harmed was Rime. Not only was his art exploited by the defendants, but his credibility as a graffiti artist was compromised by inclusion in such a crass and commercial publicity stunt."
"Rime has always chosen his commercial projects carefully. While he accepted Disney’s invitation to reinterpret Mickey Mouse, and placed his original designs on Adidas and Converse footwear, Rime regularly declines corporate offers to license his work." Rime has requested that Moschino ceases sales of all items that he claims infringe on the copyrights of his artwork and pay significant damages.