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- Sam Shepard: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, actor and ... avant-garde drummer?
- Lady Gaga subpoenaed in producer Dr. Luke's lawsuit against pop singer Kesha
- 'Ride on, genius': Celebrities mourn the loss of Sam Shepard
Kendall and Kylie Jenner's ill-fated foray into cross-breeding their brand with classic images of rock and rap icons is now more than an adventure in questionable taste.
The photographer behind the Tupac Shakur pictures used on a couple of shirts sold in the sisters' online store has sued them.
The complaint by Michael Miller was filed Friday in U.S. District Court and alleges copyright infringement by the Jenner sisters and their company for using his images without properly licensing them.
A Jenner family representative said in a statement to Rolling Stone that the lawsuit was akin to "suing an actor for being in a movie," because Kendall and Kylie had nothing to do with the creation of the shirts.
Miller's suit alleges that the Jenners and their company "had the right and ability to supervise the infringing conduct and ... had a direct financial interest in the infringing conduct."
It's in the interest of the person who created an image "to have it associated with an artist and not a third party," Scott Burroughs, an attorney representing Miller, told The Times on Monday. "That may impact further opportunities to license the work or the value of the work that can be licensed."
A statement that Sky News got from the sisters' clothing company called the allegations "completely false" and the lawsuit "baseless."
The company said Canada Inc., the authorized licensee for the sisters' images, bought old shirts previously produced by another company that was authorized to use the rock and rap images, the company said. Apparently the K+K logo and images of the Jenners were later superimposed on the "vintage" shirts.
Talk about doing the laundry!
The $125 shirts, which featured social media shots of the Jenners superimposed on pics of Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G., Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" logo and more, lasted for less than a day in the Kendall + Kylie online store at the end of June before they were yanked under a small avalanche of criticism.
"I am not sure who told @kyliejenner and @kendalljenner that they had the right to do this ...," Wallace said on Instagram. "I have no idea why they feel they can exploit the deaths of 2pac and my Son Christopher to sell a t-shirt. This is disrespectful, disgusting, and exploitation at its worst!!!"
Sharon Osbourne, whose husband Ozzy's image was used on a shirt, told the Jenners to "stick to what you know ... lip gloss."
"The superimposing of a selfie of Kendall Jenner over the iconic 'Lion' portrait of the late Jim Morrison is offensive and remarkable for its failure to recognize the rights of the estate of Mr. Morrison to control the use of his likeness," read a cease-and-desist letter (obtained by Rolling Stone) sent to the sisters' company on behalf of the late singer's estate.
Jeff Jampol, who manages the estate and the surviving members of the Doors, slammed the Jenner sisters as an example of "people who fashion themselves as celebrities who are famous for being well-known but don't actually do anything."
Kylie Jenner, 19, told WWD in an interview published Friday, "We have learned what the customer wants and what she gravitates towards through trial and error.
"We love to push the envelope with adding statement and novelty styles that in the past we would have shied away from and seeing how our customer has loved those items has been amazing."
The vintage T-shirt experiment has shaken out as an error, as Kendall Jenner, 21, acknowledged in June. Whether they anticipated the possibility of a trial? Whole 'nother thing.