Jay Z Wins Roc-A-Fella Logo Copyright Lawsuit
Wed, 28 Sep 2016 09:29:10
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Reuters reports that a federal judge dismissed a $7 million lawsuit against Jay Z and his former label partners that accused them of breach of contract and copyright infringement over the logo for Roc-A-Fella Records.
Designer Dwayne Walker filed the suit in 2012. His claim stated that he created the artwork depicting a vinyl record that served as the basis for the Roc-A-Fella logo.
Jay Z, co-founder Damon Dash, Roc-A-Fella and its parent company, Universal Music Group, denied Walker's claims, stating that the logo designed in-house, by their own art director.
Further to Walker's claim he stated that Dash signed a contract entitling him to royalties from the logo. However, U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter found little evidence to prove the document existed.
Two other people, aside from Walker, purported to have seen the contract, but Judge Carter ruled their testimony was too weak. He wrote in his decision, "This leaves only plaintiff's own self-serving testimony that he drafted the contract, that he and Dash signed it, and that he lost track of it in 1998."
Judge Carter also noted that Walker waited too long to file a copyright claim, taking five years, instead of three, to sue Roc-A-Fella after learning he was allegedly owed royalties. Jay Z has not made any public comment on the judge's findings, and Walker was not available for immediate comment.
Gregory Berry, Walker's lawyer told Reuters that the designed plans to appeal the decision. "Walker made the logo in 1995. Then in 2013, in response to this suit – never before – the defendant's find a guy who is willing to claim now that HE made the logo … Sound like a factual question for trial? We agree."
—The ARTISTdirect Staff