Rapper Lil Yachty, Miles Parks McCollum, is taking the music NFT startup, Opulous, and its founders to court for violating his right of publicity. In the trademark infringement suit, the artist accused Opulous of using his “name and likeness without his express permission to raise over $6.5 million in venture capital funds.” Lil Yachty claims that the Opulous exploited his name in statements to the press and advertising on social media to help the company grow. These actions, the suit claims, constitute “trademark infringement and unfair competition, and also infringed his privacy and publicity rights.”
In the legal papers, Lil Yachty attorneys state, “Defendants knew that they did not have the authorization to utilize plaintiff’s name, trademark or image… yet did so anyway because [it] was beneficial to Defendants’ commercial enterprise, in blatant and conscious disregard for plaintiff’s exclusive legal rights.”
Music Business Worldwide published an article which, the lawsuit claims, “contained numerous statements made by Lee Parsons both falsely representing plaintiff’s affiliation and involvement with the Opulous platform, as well as touting the significance to the Opulous platform of having an artist as high profile and respected as plaintiff involved with the launch of Opulous’s copyright NFT offerings.”
“In fact,” it goes on, “at all times, defendants acted with actual malice in that defendants knew that they did not have the authorization to utilize plaintiff’s name, trademark, or image … yet did so anyway because [doing so] was beneficial to defendants’ commercial enterprises in general and their launching of the Opulous platform specifically, in blatant and conscious disregard for plaintiff’s exclusive legal rights to control the use and exploitation of his name, trademark, and image.”
– Excerpt from an article for Complete Music Update by Chris Cooke. Read the full article here.
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