A celebrity photographer sued Karl Kani Thursday, alleging that the Los Angeles hip-hop clothing designer used a copyrighted portrait of the late Tupac Shakur in online displays and social media without authorization.
Danny Clinch alleges in the Los Angeles federal court complaint for copyright infringement that Kani “obtained direct and indirect profits” the company would not otherwise have received without the unauthorized use of the Shakur image.
A representative for Kani could not immediately be reached for comment.
The New York photographer alleges that Kani and his associates removed Clinch’s copyright information from the photo, and/or added false info to the image before its publication.
“Specifically, defendants published the subject photograph under the name `Karl Kani,’ described as `Hip-Hop’s Godfather of Fashion,’ with the `Kani’ trademark featured prominently,” according to the suit, which seeks unspecified damages and legal fees.
Shakur, popularly known by his stage name 2Pac, was shot and killed Sept. 13, 1996, in Las Vegas. The rapper/actor was 25 years old.
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