Rapper Cardi B is involved in a lawsuit with Kevin Brophy Jr. for photoshopping a back tattoo photo onto her “Gangsta Bitch Music Vol.1” mixtape.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Brophy says that Cardi B used his likeness in “a misleading, offensive, humiliating and provocatively sexual way.” Cardi B says that she used the picture in a fair, transformative way.
“To constitute a transformative fair use, the revised image must have significant fair transformative or creative elements to make something more than mere likeness or imitation,” U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney said. A reasonable jury, in this case, could conclude that there are insufficient transformative or creative elements on the GBMV1 cover to constitute a transformative of Plaintiff’s tattoo.”
In a testimony, graphic design artist Tim Gooden, who created the album cover, said that he googled back tattoos and found the image and pasted it onto the cover. Cardi B says that Gooden edited various aspects of the picture, but the judge believes that the jury will find the changes insufficiently creative.
“Most significantly, defining elements including the tiger and snake remain virtually unchanged,” the judge said. ” Under these circumstances, a jury will have to decide the merits of Defendants defense.”
Douglas Bania looked into the amount of money that the album made. According to Bania, Cardi B owes $1,070,854 to Brophy for the image and $554,935 for his likeness. The judge said that the information given for the album does not conclude that the picture was the reason people listened to the album.
“Bania does [not] cite to any survey, poll, focus group, or other study where listeners-much less 100% of listeners- stated that the sole driver of their decision off what music to listen to is cover art, or that cover art is absolutely critical to their decision to listen to a song or album,” the opinion said. “Asked at his deposition whether he looked at surveys, polls, or studies regarding why consumers buy records, he could cite none. That is for a good reason. Such a conclusion is pure fantasy.”