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 Dash Snow , Lawsuit, McDonald’s , Copyright Infringement
Dash Snow Estate Sues McDonald’s For Copyright Infringement - ArtLyst Article image

Dash Snow Estate Sues McDonald’s For Copyright Infringement

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The late, great cult artist Dash Snow’s family is suing McDonald’s for copyright infringement. The lawsuit which has been filed in a NY court claims that association with McDonald's diminishes the value of the dead artist's work.

In an attempt to limit damages, the estate of the late artist is fighting to protect his legacy against the dreaded label of “sellout.” Jade Berreau, the late artist’s former girlfriend and current estate manager, is suing McDonald’s for copying Snow’s graffiti tag and using it to decorate a number of restaurants without permission.

Back in June 2016, Bureau first asked McDonald’s to remove Snow’s recognisable graffiti tag, “SACE,” from the locations that had been redesigned in the graffiti-covered, industrial theme, to no avail. Bureau is now formally suing McDonald’s for “copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition, falsification of ‘copyright management information’ under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and negligence,” reports the Fashion Law.

Dash Snow died in 2009 at the age of 27, began his career as a street artist in the 1990s, part of a graffiti crew known as IRAK. In a memorial essay, photographer Ryan McGinley wrote that Snow was “number one on the vandal squad's most wanted list,” tagging ambitious locations like New York’s Brooklyn Bridge and High Line, and even paying bums on the street to tag the clothes on their backs.

The lawsuit claims, the appropriated “SACE” tag is “so prominently placed,” and “was the only element singled out and spotlighted in media coverage surrounding McDonald’s display campaign.” The plaintiff claims that media coverage implied that Snow authorised the use of his work on the walls of the corporate chain.

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