Tuesday 27 February 2018

5Pointz: a stronger legal protection for street art … or not?

The 1709 Blog is delighted to host the following contribution by Angela Saltarelli (Chiomenti) on the recent decision of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York in the in the 5Pointz case.

Here’s what Angela writes:

“The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York has recently ordered a real estate developer to pay millions of dollars in damages to a group of artists to compensate them for destroying their 45 famous aerosol artworks which were at the 5Pointz building in Queens, New York City.

5Pointz was a former factory owned by Jerry Wolkoff, who bought the 19th century Neptune Meter factory in Long Island City in Queens in the early 1970s. He started leasing the space as artists’ studios in the 1990’s. As a result, street and graffiti artists started using his building to create their works. In 2002, Wolkoff appointed famous street artist Jonathan Cohen as 5Pointz’s de facto curator. 5Pointz thus became soon a tourist attraction drawing thousands of daily visitors, including busloads of tourists. Movie, television and music video producers used 5Points as a location.   

Starting in 2011, there were rumours that Wolkoff wanted to destroy 5Pointz and turn this space into luxury condos. Subsequently, Cohen filed an application before the City Landmark Preservation Commission to preserve the site as one of cultural significance, but the application was denied because the artistic work was of too recent creation. 

After the City of New York declined to declare the building a landmark, 21 artists (including Mr Cohen) decided to sue Wolkoff and four of his real estate entities asking for a preliminary injunction to prevent the planned demolition. As soon as the Court denied the plaintiff’s application for preliminary injunction, Wolkoff whitewashed the entire complex overnight without waiting the final Court’s decision.

After the demolition, the plaintiffs’ requests for damages went on claiming that the defendants had acted contrary to the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA), which introduced a new provision into the US Copyright Act added in 1990 to comply with the Berne Convention granting some moral rights, namely the right of attribution and the right of integrity.

As to the right of integrity, the author can prevent the destruction of the work of visual art when can be prejudicial to artist’s honor or reputation or when the work is of recognized stature, namely when the visual artwork is viewed as meritorious and this stature is recognized by art experts or other members of the artistic community. The Court found that 28 of 49 destroyed works at 5Pointz achieved recognized stature, and eight more were modified to the prejudice of the artists’ honour or reputation. 

One of the exception raised by the defendants in this case was that street art works are ephemeral per se and that VARA should not afford protection to temporary works. Before this case the application of VARA to the works of exterior aeorosol artists had not been discussed in courts.

The court rejected this legal approach saying that VARA resolves the tension between building owners’ rights and the artist’ rights, including also temporary works. Indeed, Section 113 of VARA provides for two hypotheses when a protected work of art has been integrated into a building: (i) when the artwork cannot be removed from the building (in this case the artist may sue to prevent the destruction of the work unless he waived this right) and (ii) when the artwork can be removed, so contemplating that the work can be temporary.

In the latter case, VARA gives the opportunity to the artist to save the work upon receipt of a 90 days’ written notice from the building owner. If the artist fails to remove within the 90 days or if the owner could not notify the artist after making good effort, the artist’s VARA rights are deemed waived and the owner may destroy them without consequences. 

The Court finally held that the artists’ works were legally protected under VARA and that each artworks could have been removed from 5Pointz walls. Then the Court stated that the defendants broke the law in willfully destroying 5Pointz before having the Court’s permit and failing to give the 90 days’ notice to the artists to remove their works provided by VARA.

The Court awarded the owner to pay the maximum statutory damages under VARA for each works for the whole sum of USD 6,750,000.

The decision was greeted with enthusiasm by the artistic community as a further validation of street art. For the future, more real estate owners will probably give artists the time to remove their works.

On the other side, this decision could also hinder street art as many real estate owners could be reluctant in the future to authorize artists to use their walls as Wolkoff did in 5Pointz.”

I thought I saw a COPYKAT ..........

The US Federal Court in New York ruled that it is possible to infringe the copyright by a simple action of embedding a tweet on a website. The case concerned a photo of Tom Brady (New England Patriots quarterback) with Boston Celtics’ General Manager Danny Ainge, which was taken by Justin Goldman and posted on his Snapchat. Shortly thereafter, the photo went viral and was uploaded by a number of users on Twitter. Since the story was newsworthy, a number of news organisations have embedded the link to these tweets on their websites. Goldman has filed a lawsuit against a number of online publications including Yahoo, Time and the Boston Globe for violating his exclusive right to display.

Following the 9th Circuit case Perfect 10 v Amazon, the general position of the US courts has been that the copyright liability rests with the entity that hosts the content that is infringing copyright on its server (the so-called ‘Server Test’), and not the party who links to that material.  According to 17 U.S. Code § 106(5) the author has the exclusive right to ‘display the copyright work publicly’.  Judge Forrest in her summary judgment has rejected the Server Test by saying that “when defendants caused the embedded Tweets to appear on their websites, their actions violated plaintiff’s exclusive display right; the fact that the image was hosted on a server owned and operated by an unrelated third party (Twitter) does not shield them from this result”. Additionally, she noted that the Copyright Act does not suggest that “possession of an image is necessary in order to display it. Indeed, the purpose and language of the Act support the opposite view”.

This decision, together with the potential appeal, is important for all producers of digital content. According to Defendants the Court’s ruling may “cause a tremendous chilling effect on the core functionality of the web”. On the other hand, the judge has observed that there are some questions whether publication of a photo on Snapchat means that the copyrighted work is effectively released into the public domain.

Following the last year’s petition the US Copyright Office is looking at the introduction of the exemption that would ease current Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) anti-circumvention provisions (renewed every 3 years) in relation to preservation of abandoned video games. Previously, museums, libraries and archives were able to preserve abandoned games by having a right to use emulators and other circumvention tools to make old games playable and keep them accessible. Now, several organisations, including non-profit Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) requested for an additional exemption that will allow preservation of online video games. There is a big number of MMPORGs (Massively multiplayer online role-playing games) such as Star Wars Galaxies or City of Heroes, where copyright owners have decided shut down their servers and games cannot be played online anymore.  

On the other hand, major game publishers such as Electronic Arts, Nintendo and Ubisoft have asked the US Copyright Office not to create such exemption. The companies, represented by Entertainment Software Association (ESA), have opposed the proposed changes with a view that such exemption will allow other users to “recreate online game environments using server code that was never published in public”. This may allow ‘affiliates’ to replicate the game and allow everyone in the public to play them, activity for which the companies were previously charging their users. Additionally, as observed by ESA, MADE already charges the general public for the access to the museum, where the users can play the games for the whole day for a fee of $10. The Association says that “public performance and display of copyrighted works to generate entrance fee revenue is a commercial use”, within the meaning of Section 107 “even if undertaken by a non-profit museum”. With a growing market and popularity of retro video games, the US Copyright Office will have to consider arguments of both sides and decide whether to introduce this exemption.

The Council of the European Union, 12 months after the decision of CJEU that the European Commission had an exclusive competence to conclude agreements which affect common rules already in place (here European Copyright legislation), has adopted a decision to approve the ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty.

The Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired, or otherwise print disabled, administered by WIPO, entered into force in September 2016. The agreement provides for set of international rules that ensure exceptions in the copyright law so that “blind and visually-impaired people (VIPs) can access cultural materials like books without hindrance” and governs cross-border exchanges. As an effect the publishers can lawfully reproduce materials in a format accessible for VIPs without the fear of being sued for copyright infringement. Following the ratification of the Treaty by the EU later this year, the Member States will be required to introduce adequate exception into their own national laws.

Since the Pirate Bay saga (more on it here) the prosecutors in Sweden have called for a tougher approach towards serious breaches of copyright law. The Swedish penalties comparing to those on the international level were considered to be low. Therefore, the Council of Justice in its report has proposed legislative changes that would create new criminal classification and crime divided into two levels, depending on its seriousness.

At the first level “[a] person who has been found guilty of copyright infringement or trademark infringement of a normal grade may be sentenced to fines or imprisonment up to a maximum of two years.” Whereas, in the case of large-scale infringement “a person may be convicted of gross copyright infringement or gross trademark infringement and sent to prison for at least six months and not more than six years”. To assess whether the crime was of ‘gross’ degree, under the new proposal the courts will take into account the amount of damage caused to the rightsholders, as well as any monetary gain made by the defendants.

The proposal also envisages the possibility of seizing property, either physical or intangible, such as domain names. As reported by TorrentFreak “’[t]his proposal is a clear nod towards the Pirate Bay case which dragged on for several years before the state was able to take over its thepiratebay.se domain”.

The proposed date for the amendments to enter into force is 1 July 2019.

Having recently observed a number of calls in Australia to reform its current copyright law framework and make it more suitable in the age of digital technologies, our attention turns now to New Zealand. Here, in June 2017 the Government has launched a review of Copyright Act 1994 to ensure that the “copyright regime is fit for purpose in today’s rapidly changing technological environment”. Recently, InternetNZ (a non-profit organisation) has launched a position paper, in which it seeks to update the copyright law framework and achieve a modern balance. As noted by the organisation, each new technology for copying that was introduced in the past years with the use of the internet (such as data and text mining, cloud computing), has been blocked due to lack of technology neutral exceptions to the copyright. InternetNZ CEO, Jordan Carter says that “the Internet has opened up new opportunities for creative New Zealanders”. Nevertheless, at the same time, uses of technology like cloud back-ups are likely to infringe copyright. Hence, in the view of InternetNZ, the new reform should introduce a more flexible open-ended ‘fair use’ style exceptions that will enable predictability in the use of copying technologies based on the ‘fairness’ test. The authors of the report suggest that the reform of copyright framework should aim to find a modern balance that will allow “the full benefits of both modern technology and local creativity”.

The US District Judge Michael Fitzgerald dismissed the action in the lawsuit brought by 3LW against Taylor Swift for stealing lyrics for the chorus of her song ‘Shake It Off’. The songwriters in their copyright infringement action claimed that the Taylor Swift’s song was based on the phrase "players, they gonna play, and haters, they gonna hate”, which was used in the song "Playas Gon' Play" by R&B girl group 3LW in 2001, and that combining those two ideas was original enough for the protection.

According to the Judge the lyrics in order to be protected by copyright must be more creative. He wrote that “the allegedly infringed lyrics are short phrases that lack the modicum of originality and creativity required for copyright protection”. In his view “combining two truisms about playas and haters, both well-worn notions as of 2001, is simply not enough”. He added that “the lyrics at issue (...) are too brief, unoriginal, and uncreative to warrant protection under the Copyright Act”. The songwriters were given the opportunity to file an amended lawsuit, however, as reported by CNBC, the attorney for songwriters would appeal Fitzgerald’s ruling to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

With only few days left before the 90th Academy Awards ceremony, amid the voting of the Academy, authors of ‘The Shape of Water’, Guillermo del Toro and Fox Searchlight were sued for allegedly copying the idea for their film.  According to the family of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Zindel, the story of inter-species love has copied a number of copyright protectable literary elements from the plot of ‘Let Me Hear You Whisper’ play. The play as described by Daniel Zindel “also depicted a lonely cleaning woman who works at a lab, bonds with an aquatic creature and breaks him out after learning authorities planned to kill him”. 

Del Toro explained that the story of the film “and the layers are completely and entirely complex, interwoven with Russian spies, the Cold War, female friendships that are so complex and more important than that, which are completely original”. The lawsuit for copyright infringement came after the film has received 2 Golden Globe Awards and 13 nominations for the Academy Awards. Fox Searchlight in its statement said that the claims brought against them are “baseless, wholly without merit” and with a view to pressure the studio to quickly settle.  

Professor Jessica Litman
On 13th March 2018, the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL) is holding its Annual International Intellectual Property Lecture at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In this year’s lecture Professor Jessica Litman, John F. Nickoll Professor of Law at University of Michigan Law School, will argue that when we think about the copyright system, our assumptions about legal property rights shape what we see and what we don’t. We assume that broadening or narrowing the scope of copyright will redound to the benefit or detriment of creators. Three hundred years of evidence, though, belie that supposition. We need to think more concretely about copyright law's actual effect on creators, and their ability to communicate and profit from their works.

This is an invitation-only event which will take place on Tuesday 13th March 2018 at 5:30pm. If you would like an invitation, or for further information, please contact CIPIL Administrator, Mr. James Parish cipil@law.cam.ac.uk

This CopyKat by Matt  Rachubka

Thursday 22 February 2018

French Cour de cassation Ruling on Musical Performers' Rights In Audio-Visual Works


                                                                I've changed my mind

On February 16th last, the French Cour de cassation handed down an important ruling relating to performers' rights in the audio-visual sector.

The case involved the rights of musical performers whose performances are subsequently used in audio-visual works.  In this case, the performances were recorded in a studio (not filmed) and then incorporated into the audio-visual work that was then televised.  The studio recording took place in the legal framework of a "feuille de présence" made available by the producer, i.e. each performer signed an attendance sheet that specified that the recording was intended to be used as the soundtrack of an audio-visual work

Some years later, the audiovisual work, including the sound recordings, was marketed as DVDs by the producer.

Taking the position that the marketing of these DVDs required a fresh authorization, SPEDIDAM (a CMO representing performers) brought legal proceedings against the producer.

The trial court held that the issue was to be resolved in light of Section L.212-4 IPC which provides as follows:

"The signature of a contract between a performer and a producer for the production of an audio-visual work constitutes authorization to fix, reproduce and publicly communicate the performance.
Such a conrtact specifies a distinct remuneration for each means of exploitation of the work."

This statutory provision creating a legal presumption in favour of the producer is to be contrasted with Section L.212-3 IPC which provides that the perfomer's authorization is required for such acts with respect to a performer's performance.  SPEDIDAM was arguing that Section L.212-3 IPC (not Section L.212-4 IPC) was applicable.

This trial court's decision was upheld on appeal.  The appellate court took the position that the signature of the attendance sheet was sufficient to constitute an audio-visual production contract and thus make Section L.212-4 IPC applicable (i.e., the presumption applied such that the producer did not require a separate authorization for the DVDs).  For the court, it did not matter that the performances were purely audio, provided that they were made with a view to being incorporated in an audio-visual work.

This positon was initially rejected by the  Cour de cassation in its ruling of 2013.  It held that the attendance sheet could not be characterized as an audio-vusal production contract given that the resultant recording was entirely separable from the audio-visual work.

In accordance with French procedural law, the case was then sent back to a different appellate court which resisted the solution dictated by the Cour de cassation and, like the other lower courts, again held that Section L.212-4 IPC applied.

In its recent ruling, the  Cour de cassation affirmed the appellate ruling and thereby reversed its own 2013 position.  It agreed with the lower courts that the attendance sheet - which clealry indicated the intended use of the sound recording as part of the audio-visual work - constituted an audio-visual production contract within the meaning of Section L.212-4 IPC such that no other authorization was required in order for the producer to market the DVDs.

Link to 2018 ruling here

Link to 2013 ruling here

Wednesday 21 February 2018

The COPYKAT muses - art for art's sake?

Although Pablo Picasso may have said that “good artists copy, but great artists steal,” copyright infringement can be a serious offence in the art world. The following stories elaborate on recent news that General Motors, the Lollapalooza Music Festival, and the team behind the a new Black Panther film soundtrack have all been sued by artists. This carefully sculpted CopyKat from Kelsey Farish
General Motors sued for featuring graffiti in Cadillac advert without artist’s consent
Adrian Falkner is a Swiss-based contemporary artist famous for graffiti and street art showcasing the many ways of writing letters. Known by his art world pseudonym “SMASH 137,” Falkner’s works have been displayed around the world in various museums and galleries. According to the Kolly Gallery in Switzerland, “among the heroes of graffiti art, SMASH 137 is a pioneer of highest regard.”
In 2014, SMASH 137 participated in an art project called the “Z Garage” in Detroit, Michigan USA.  The Z Garage is a 10-storey parking garage in central Detroit's business district with 1,300 parking spots, and features murals from 27 internationally renowned artists.
Two years later, General Motors (GM) developed and launched an international media campaign to promote its new Cadillac XT5. In several still-image advertisements, Cadillac featured SMASH 137’s Z Garage mural as the centrepiece artistic element.
The campaign was entitled “The Art of the Drive,” which echoes a connection between the vehicle SHASH 137’s mural in question. It was shown on Cadillac’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, and is reported to have reached at least 6 million viewers. For a sense of the car model’s popularity, according to sales figures, 13,000 Cadillac XT5 vehicles were sold in the United States during November and December 2016 alone, worth an estimated $500m in revenue for GM.
In a lawsuit filed on 22 January 2018 in California District Court SMASH 137 argues that his mural was used in the advertisements without his knowledge or consent (Adrian Falkner v General Motors, Case 2:18-cv-00549-SVW-JPR). His lawyers explain that GM chose to use SMASH 137’s graffiti mural in an attempt to “attract new young car buyers, and target a young urban demographic.”

By having his mural associated with the automotive giant’s Cadillac advert, SMASH 137 claims that his reputation and career have “been irreparably tarnished,” thereby resulting in diminished value of his work and decreased revenue. The lawsuit explains that while SMASH 137 is highly sought after for commercial collaborations and endorsements, he generally declines “any association with corporate culture and mass-market consumerism,” in part “to preserve the value of his work.”
Accordingly, SMASH 137 is suing for damages and injunctive relief for copyright infringement related to GM’s “misappropriation of his original graphic expression”. He is also asking that the matter be decided by jury.
Interestingly, SMASH 137 also claims that that his prominent signature on the mural was deliberately removed from the advertisements, because “photograph of the mural is taken from an angle that renders the signature not visible.” According to the lawsuit, this conduct constitutes a violation of the integrity of SMASH 137’s copyright management information (“CMI”). CMI includes the title and other information identifying the work, as well as the name of, and other identifying information about, the author of a work.
Under 17 US Code Section 1202(b), “no person shall, without the authority of the copyright owner or the law, intentionally remove or alter any CMI […] or distribute works knowing that CMI has been removed or altered.” Suing under 1202(b) is a lesser-known “double attack” particularly relevant in cases where artwork is signed. In other instances, removing the copyright symbol © may also constitute a CMI violation.
To be guilty of Section 1202(b), the Defendant must have wilfully intended to remove or alter the CMI. SMASH 137 and his legal team assert that GM’s omission of SMASH 137’s signature from the advertising campaign was a deceitful and deliberate attempt to conceal their infringement. If GM are found to have violated Section 1202 wilfully and for purposes of financial gain, the court has the power to demand enhanced damages of up to $500,000, imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.
LA Artist Sues Lollapalooza for copyright infringement in breach of licence agreement
Juan Marcos Montes, known by his art name as Juan Marco, is an artist from Los Angeles, California who has created illustrations and branding projects for the last decade. According to his website The Future Bones, his collaborations have included work with Sony Music, Warner Bros, and The Uprising Creative.
Marco recently granted a three-year limited licence agreement with C3 Presents, a concert promotion and artist management company responsible for the popular Lollapalooza music festival. As the official designer of Lollapalooza, Marco’s work featured characters “inspired by musical energy — how it flows through your body when you create and listen to music.” His creations for Lallopalooza are featured on his website portfolio.
The original licence was for the non-exclusive use of various illustrations for Lallopalooza events in Chicago, USA and Santiago, Chile for three years. However, in a lawsuit filed in California District Court last week, Marco argues that his illustrations have been used outside of the original scope as agreed in the licence (Juan Marcos Montes vs. C3 Presents and Live Nation, Case 2:18-cv-01150).
The alleged infringement includes using and modifying the artwork in unauthorised ways, as well as using it in locations beyond Chicago and Santiago. For example, his artwork is used in connection with the Lollapalooza event in Paris, as seen on the Lollaparis website. Additionally, Marco accuses C3, Lollapalooza and the Uprising Creative of sub-licensing his artwork without his permission, in order to manufacture and create products which are similar or substantially similar to Marco’s original artwork.
Marco is therefore claiming for copyright infringement, together with vicarious and contributory copyright infringement. In the first claim, he alleges that he has suffered substantial damages – both general and special - to his business. He notes that the Defendants have profited as a direct result of their “wilful, intentional and malicious” copyright infringement, and is asking for statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringement.
In his second claim, Marco alleges that the C3 and the other Defendants are vicariously liable for the infringement carried out by other parties. The lawsuit states that the Defendants “knowingly induced, participated in, aided and abetted in and profited from the illegal reproduction and subsequent sales” of his artwork.
By alleging contributory copyright infringement, Marco is asking the Court to consider the Defendant’s secondary liability. To be found guilty of this offence, the Defendants must have reasonably known, or had reason to know, of the infringement. Marco asserts that under the original licence agreement, the Defendants had both the right and ability to supervise the copying of Marco’s artwork, but nevertheless failed to prevent infringement. The Defendants also benefited financially as a direct result of the infringement by other parties, and therefore must have known of the illegal copying in the first instance.
Unlike Adrian Falkner in the above General Motors story, it is interesting to note that Marco is not seeking any damages in respect of harm done to his reputation. By his own admission, Marco has previously collaborated with big names in the music industry, as well as freelance work for record labels and bands. Rather, Marco takes issue with the ways in which the artworks were used in contravention to the original licence agreement. It is therefore important to remember that permission to use artwork usually come with very specific strings attached.
Music video for Black Panther soundtrack “inspired” by British-Liberian artist
Marvel Studios’ new movie “Black Panther” features the first black superhero to appear in mainstream comics. It has received widespread acclaim and press, not least because of its positive portrayal of Africans and African Americans as powerful, heroic characters. In its review of the film, The New York Times exclaims that “Ryan Coogler's film is a vivid re-imagination of something black Americans have cherished for centuries — Africa as a dream of our wholeness, greatness and self-realization.”
To promote the film and its music, American rapper and songwriter Kendrick Lamar, together with American R&B singer SZA, recently released a music video for the film’s soundtrack, entitled All the Stars.” However, the producers of the music video are now accused of stealing from African artists.
British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor, who currently resides in New York, has garnered praise for her series Constellations. The work is characterised by unique patterning, using what she considers a “purist colour palate” of only black and 24-karat gold. Viktor found out about the music video from friends who called her to say they’d seen Constellations featured in the video. The alleged infringement begins three minutes into the video, and lasts for 20 seconds.
Viktor’s lawyer Christopher Robinson sent a letter to Lamar’s mentor and label head, Anthony Tiffith of Top Dawg Entertainment. In the letter, as seen and reported by The New York Times, the use of Viktor’s artworks in the “All the Stars” video constitutes “willful and egregious” copyright infringement. In particular, the video “incorporates not just the immediately-identifiable and unique look” of Viktor’s work, but also “many of the specific copyrightable elements in the Constellations paintings.”
The letter also points out that Viktor had been previously contacted on two separate occasions in respect of using her work in association with Black Panther. In the first instance, a Marvel Studios set decorator asked Viktor directly if he could feature Constellations I in the film itself. On the second occasion, a public relations firm contacted the Mariane Ibrahim Gallery in Seattle, which represents Viktor. The firm wanted Viktor to provide Marvel Studios and Disney with artworks for the purpose of promoting the Black Panther film, including a video. In both instances, Viktor declined the opportunity to be associated with Black Panther, for reasons apparently related to financial terms and exclusivity.
At present, no official claim for copyright infringement has been filed. The letter simply asks the “All the Stars” crew to discuss a resolution of Viktor’s claims, “consisting at a minimum of a public apology for the unauthorised use and a license fee.” In her interview with the New York Times, Viktor explained that these allegations are “an ethical issue” and not about monetary compensation. She noted that the film’s creators focus on black empowerment and African excellence, but at the same time appear to support what she considers cultural appropriation. Lamar, Top Dawg, Marvel Studios and Disney have not yet responded to the allegations.
Copyright law and other intellectual property laws can certainly plays a part in the protection of traditional cultural expressions. However, the Constellations and “All the Stars” matter calls into question the fine line between infringement and inspiration. Style and general colour schemes are not protected by copyright law, regardless of the form in which it is illustrated or embodied (17 USC Section 102(b)).
Segments of Kendrick’s music video clearly appear (in this writer's opinion) to have been inspired by Viktor’s artwork. There are several striking commonalities with the patterns and colour schemes used, and certain actors’ poses mimic Viktor’s portraits. Nevertheless, proving that the substantial similarity goes so far as to amount to copyright infringement may be difficult. Should the team behind the Black Panther video have a legal question to answer, they will need to demonstrate that the works they chose to feature in “All the Stars” did not actually infringe Viktor’s copyright – despite being quite similar.

In an attempt to settle this allegation as quickly as possible, and indeed – to protect the narrative of promoting African and African American artists in general – the studios behind the Black Panther film and its soundtrack may simply elect to issue Viktor with an apology and a considerable licence fee. Given that the film is expected to smash box office records, and the Black Panther soundtrack has likewise become a hit with audiences, coming up with compensation is unlikely to be too much of a problem.