THE FASHION LAW EXCLUSIVE – The latest update in the Rime vs. Jeremy Scott and Moschino graffiti copying case: The creative director and the Italian design house filed to have the Brooklyn-based graffiti artist’s case dismissed, arguing that he does not have standing to bring claims of copyright infringement because the work was an act of vandalism and should not be protected by law.
In a motion for summary judgment filed on Monday, Moschino and Jeremy Scott asked the court to dismiss the case because the artist, whose name is Joseph Tierney, is an “unabashed felon.” According to Moschino and Scott, Tierney did not obtain permission from the building owner in Detroit, Michigan before creating his mural, known as “Vandal Eyes.” According to their motion, “As a matter of public policy and basic logic, it would make no sense to grant legal protection to work that is created entirely illegally.”
They continued on to note: “Brazen and willful violations of the law cannot, and, indeed, should not result in the award of copyright privileges,” they said. [Note: Rime has previously alleged that he was invited to create the mural at issue on a building in Detroit in 2012].
But the duo did not stop there. In fact, Moschino and Scott’s legal team attempted to bolster their argument by referring to one of the most notorious unsolved crimes in Los Angeles, the so-called Black Dahlia murder in 1947. When the photos of the “killer’s criminal handiwork,” which included the mutilated body of 22-year-old Elizabeth Short, were distributed by police and the media, they asked, could the killer sue them? “In a word: no,” the defendants’ motion states.