Cardi B wins California jury trial in artwork copyright infringement case

A jury sided with Cardi B on Friday in a copyright infringement case involving a person who claimed the Grammy-winning rapper misused his again tattoos for her sexually suggestive 2016 mixtape cowl artwork.

The federal jury in Southern California dominated Kevin Michael Brophy didn’t show Cardi B misappropriated his likeness. After the jury forewoman learn the decision, the rapper hugged her attorneys and appeared joyful.

Cardi B thanked the jurors, admitting she was “fairly nervous” earlier than listening to the decision.

“I wasn’t certain if I used to be going to lose or not,” she mentioned after leaving the courthouse. She was swarmed by a number of reporters, photographers and greater than 40 excessive schoolers who chanted her identify. One fan held up an indication asking if she might take him to his homecoming dance, to which she replied “Sure, I will see what I can do.” 

“I informed myself if I win, I used to be going to cuss Mr. Brophy out. However I haven’t got it in my coronary heart to cuss him out,” she mentioned. Within the courtroom, Cardi B had a short, cordial dialog with Brophy and shook his hand.

Cardi B wins California jury trial in art copyright infringement case
Cardi B is greeted by followers whereas departing a federal courthouse on Oct. 21, 2022 in Santa Ana, California. A jury dominated in Cardi B’s favor after she was sued for copyright infringement for allegedly utilizing a picture of a person’s tattoo on a mixtape cowl.

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Brophy filed the lawsuit a yr after the rapper’s 2016 mixtape was launched. He referred to as himself a “household man with minor kids,” and mentioned he was triggered ” misery and humiliation ” by the art work – which confirmed a tattooed man from behind along with his head between the rapper’s legs inside a limousine. The person’s face can’t be seen.

“On the finish of the day, I do respect you as an artist,” Brophy mentioned to Cardi B.

Brophy’s lawyer, A. Barry Cappello, mentioned photo-editing software program was used to place the again tattoo, which has appeared in tattoo magazines, onto the male mannequin featured on the mixtape cowl.

However Cardi B, whose actual identify is Belcalis Almanzar, disputed the allegations throughout her testimony earlier within the week – and had such an intense trade with Cappello that the trial was briefly halted by U.S. District Decide Cormac Carney.

Cardi B mentioned she felt Brophy hadn’t suffered any penalties on account of the art work. She mentioned Brophy has harassed her legally for 5 yr – and even at one level mentioned she missed the “first step” of her youngest baby due to the trial.

Cardi B mentioned an artist used solely a “small portion” of the tattoos with out her data. She had beforehand mentioned the duvet artwork – created by Timm Gooden – was transformative honest use of Brophy’s likeness.

Cappello mentioned Gooden was paid $50 to create a design, however was informed to search out one other tattoo after he turned in an preliminary draft. He mentioned Gooden googled “again tattoos” earlier than he discovered a picture and pasted it on the duvet.

Cardi B’s lawyer, Peter Anderson, mentioned Brophy and the mixtape picture are unrelated, noting the mannequin didn’t have neck tattoos – which Brophy does.

“It is not your shopper’s again,” Cardi B mentioned concerning the picture, which featured a Black mannequin. Brophy is white. The rapper identified that she posted a photograph of the “well-known Canadian mannequin” on her social media.

“It is not him,” she continued. “To me, it would not appear like his again in any respect. The tattoo was modified, which is protected by the First Modification.”

Cardi B mentioned the picture hasn’t hindered Brophy’s employment with a well-liked surf and skate attire model or his capacity to journey the world for alternatives.

“He hasn’t gotten fired from his job,” mentioned the rapper, who implied that the mixtape was not a profitable one for her. “He hasn’t gotten a divorce. How has he suffered? He is nonetheless in a surf store at this job. Please inform me how he is suffered.”

Final month, Cardi B pleaded responsible to a felony case stemming from a pair of brawls at New York Metropolis strip golf equipment that required her to carry out 15 days of group service. Earlier this yr, the rapper was awarded $1.25 million in a defamation lawsuit in opposition to a celeb information blogger who posted movies falsely stating she used cocaine, had contracted herpes and engaged in prostitution.

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