Cannabis website sued for using copyrighted photos of rap stars

Jul 26, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Jul 26, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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Cannabis website sued for using copyrighted photos of rap stars

A Photographer is suing prominent cannabis website Leafly for unlawful use of his photographs of iconic rappers Snoop Dog and Tupac. According to sources, the lawsuit alleges that Leafly unlawfully published and displayed Monroe’s photography without his consent.

The heart of the dispute lies in an article about blunts, hollowed-out cigars filled with marijuana, according to Green Market Report. At the centre of the post was a side-by-side portrait featuring iconic rappers Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg. The caption accompanying the image suggested that Tupac taught Snoop the art of crafting blunts, which, in turn, led the rapper to smoke ten a day.

Court documents reveal that Monroe’s name was conspicuously absent from the credits of these renowned portraits of Tupac and Snoop Dogg. The plaintiff firmly asserts his ownership of the photographs, emphasizing his exclusive rights to these works of art. Moreover, he took the necessary step of registering the photographs with the United States Copyright Office, further reinforcing his claim that Leafly had no authority to use them.

The image used in the Leafly article. Monroe v. Leafly Holdings, Inc. et al

In a statement, the lawsuit reads, “Monroe has not in any way authorized defendants … to copy, reproduce, duplicate, disseminate, distribute, or create derivative works of the subject photography.” The plaintiff firmly accuses Leafly of being aware of the infringement, actively participating in it, benefiting from it, and even encouraging it.

Monroe’s efforts to address the issue were allegedly met with silence when he contacted the cannabis website in January. Feeling left with no other recourse, the photographer took the matter to the courts, aiming to protect his creative rights and seek appropriate reparation for the unauthorized use of his work.

The legal claim encompasses a demand for damages and a request for Leafly to cover the photographer’s legal expenses. This stands as a testament to the seriousness of the matter and Monroe’s commitment to upholding the integrity of his art.

Interestingly, the case has brought to light an intriguing geographical twist. Monroe, a New Jersey resident, opted to file the lawsuit in New York, despite the location of Leafly’s headquarters in Washington state. The reasons behind this decision remain undisclosed, adding an extra layer of mystery to an already compelling legal drama.

Monroe’s photography has graced the pages of publications like Thrasher and XXL magazine. He is also known for his photogrpahs of legendary hip-hop figures from the 1990s, including Nas, Big L, and The Fugees.

[Via Petapixel]

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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One response to “Cannabis website sued for using copyrighted photos of rap stars”

  1. jsm Avatar
    jsm

    “these works of art.”

    Those “works of art” look like some snapshots every kid with a phone could make.