Judge Allows Copyright Claim by Mural Artist to Proceed Against General Motors
Art Law

Judge Allows Copyright Claim by Mural Artist to Proceed Against General Motors

U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson of the Central District of California recently issued an order granting-in-part and denying-in-part a motion for summary judgment made by Detroit, MI-based automaker General Motors in a copyright case brought by a Swedish artist who painted a street mural GM used in its marketing materials. Although Judge Wilson granted summary judgment in favor of GM on the plaintiff’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and punitive damages claims, the artist’s claim for copyright infringement have been allowed to proceed to trial. The case stems back to a complaint filed this January in Central California by Adrian Falkner, a Swiss who was invited by a Detroit art gallery to paint a mural on a private parking garage as part of a project coordinated by the art gallery back in 2014. In November 2016, GM launched a media campaign titled The Art of the Drive as part of an effort to drive sales for its Cadillac brand of vehicles, especially the Cadillac XT5. Still photography used by the GM campaign included the Falkner mural and the artist alleged that the mural was the centerpiece of the campaign because it was the only creative element dressing the […]

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