Jennifer Korsen Settles Lawsuit With Marvel Over Use Of Graffiti Art

Jennifer Korsen is a Los Angeles street artist who has seen her work displayed around the Los Angeles area in galleries, pop shows, and public spaces, and has worked with clients such as Red Bull, Whole Foods, Etsy, and the City of Los Angeles using her image. She is best known for an anatomically incorrect heart design that appears in much of her work.

But it also appeared in an Audi promotional spot starring Robert Downey Jr used to also promote Avengers: Endgame. Her graffiti image fills the entire screen and is then used, one of three works side by side, as Robert Downey Jr driver past in the Audi. You can see the video below, their work appears thirty seconds in. But unlike the other brands mentioned above, no one seems to have got in touch and gotten permission.

As a result, late last year Korsen sued Volkswagen and Marvel Entertainment. Her lawsuit stated that "Korsen created an original and copyrighted mural on 7th Street and Mateo Street in Los Angeles which became a recognizable and distinct feature of the neighborhood ("Subject Mural"). This mural featured both Korsen's signature and a copyright notice. The Subject Mural is one of a number of murals and other pictorial artworks by Korsen incorporating an original anatomically incorrect 8-valve heart design, often depicted with the blue stylized "LA" initials, which Korsen has been featuring in her artwork for nearly a decade and which has become strongly associated with Korsen."

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And that "in 2018, Defendants [Volkswagen] and [Marvel] developed, displayed, and distributed a marketing campaign that inexplicably featured foregrounded depictions of the Subject Mural without Korsen's authorization or consent. The campaign included a commercial meant to advertise both Audi's cars and Marvel's movie "Avengers: Endgame" (the "Infringing Commercial"). The Infringing Commercial prominently featured Korsen's Subject Mural, including a scene in which the Subject Mural is the only image present and consumes the entire screen. The Infringing Commercial was featured widely on Audi's social media, including on Audi's official YouTube channel where it garnered more than 850,00 views, on Facebook Live, and at Audi's keynote address at the LA Auto show on November 28, 2018"

She also mentioned that the piece is "reproduced in the Infringing Commercial with Korsen's identifying information and copyright notice cropped out of the frame, without any accreditation to Korsen, and while being repeatedly shown alongside Defendants' logos and products and sought a payment of "statutory damages in an amount up to $150,000 per photograph per the Copyright Act.

But, as of this week, it appears that all parties have settled the claim.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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