Lawsuit Over Cadillac XT5 Ad And Graffiti Artist Ongoing5
Last January, Swiss artist Adrian Falkner served General Motors a lawsuit after the automaker used a graffiti mural in a 2017 Cadillac XT5 advertisement. Since then, the case has pushed forward and will head to court on Monday.
The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Falkner claims the ad infringes on copyrights and Cadillac did not have permission to use the mural in online advertising. A freelance photographer shot photos of the XT5 next to the mural in 2016 for the “Art of the Drive” campaign. Falkner also said in the lawsuit that GM deliberately removed his signature, signed “Smash 137.”
GM argues the mural is part of the parking lot structure and therefore does not feature protections from any copyright laws; Falkner’s legal team argues the parking garage is an art gallery and the mural is part of a larger project the building owner commissioned.
The artist also believes Cadillac and GM exploited his reputation “because he has carefully and selectively approached any association with corporate culture and mass-market consumerism.”
The Monday court hearing will consider Falkner’s arguments.
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If this goes through, it will open up so many stupid lawsuits, for anyone that has a building in any advertisement that has a video or picture of their adds
too much crap going on – enjoy the add –and move on –everybody has too much to say about everything that is nothing — must be a DEM
Had this been a random background billboard or a building (outside of Paris’s Eiffel Tower–that’s one that gets me), it wouldn’t have been an issue. But the billboard was a commissioned art project, on private property on top of it all, and likely registered with the US Copyright Office. The only reason they chose to photograph the car in that spot was to use the artist’s work. And, according to this article, GM (or their ad agency) removed the artist’s signature–something any third-rate photographer knows is a no-no, because pictures are pirated frequently on the internet.
If one of us were to photograph our own vehicles in that same spot it wouldn’t be an issue, so long as we were doing it for “artistic purposes” and we weren’t run off by building security. But this was done for pure commercial intent. GM’s attorneys know better, but they’re big and well paid and the artist is little. Unfortunately our courts have become overran by idiot judges in the pockets of big business so you never know WTF is going to happen, but keep on believing otherwise.
^ “But the billboard” in the second sentence, should read “But the artwork”