The rap group Run-DMC filed a $50-million lawsuit in New York accusing Wal-Mart, Amazon, Jet and other retailers of selling products that traded on the group’s name without permission.
A founder of the group and owner of the Run-DMC brand, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, was listed as the plaintiff in the suit, which was filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York.
The complaint said the defendants are “advertising, selling, manufacturing, promoting and distributing multiple products” in the group’s trademarked name. The products include glasses, hats, T-shirts, patches, wallets and other items.
The lawsuit alleges that the retailers have improperly profited, diluted and harmed the Run-DMC brand, which it says has generated more than $100 million in revenue since its inception in the 1980s.
Run-DMC was founded in New York in 1981 by McDaniels, Joseph “Run” Simmons and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell. Mizell was fatally shot in his Queens recording studio in 2002. McDaniels and Simmons later announced that the group was officially disbanding.
The group’s hits include “King of Rock, “It’s Tricky,” and “Can You Rock It Like This.”
In 2009, Run-DMC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming only the second rap act to be awarded that honor.
Amazon and Wal-Mart, which also owns Jet, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.