Artists, musical groups and companies – whether California-based, national or international – all have a few things in common, and one of those things is usually having a logo. A logo represents the group or company’s personal brand and is associated with them, for better or worse. Protecting rights to a logo is important, especially when someone else is profiting off its use without permission. The musical group Run-DMC recently filed a copyright infringement lawsuit for unauthorized use of its logo.
Run-DMC is a famous hip-hop musical group. The band is suing several retailers – among them, global retail giants Amazon and Walmart – in a $50 million copyright infringement lawsuit. The suit alleges the stores are selling unlicensed products bearing its logo, profiting from the band without permission or recompense.
Their iconic logo has – with the band’s permission – brought in more than $100 million since the band’s explosion in popularity and breakthrough into mainstream music in the 1980s. However, lawyers representing the band allege that a number of companies, including Amazon, Walmart, Vision World, Infinity Fashion, SW Global and Jet, have been profiting from the sale of products with designs based on the Run-DMC brand without permission. The infringing products, allegedly too numerous to list in full, include glasses, hats, shirts and other items bearing the group’s logo. This falsely suggests the band has endorsed these products when, in fact, this is not the case.
This copyright infringement not only confuses fans but harms the band’s business interests, as they are in no way benefiting from the sale of these products bearing the stolen logo. Any California company or individuals who feel their intellectual property or logos are being used without their express permission might benefit from the advice of an experienced business and commercial law attorney. A lawyer can help protect intellectual property rights and seek damages against any parties who infringe upon them.
Source: UPI, “Run-DMC sues Amazon, Walmart for copyright infringement“, Stephen Feller, Dec. 30, 2016