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Kat Von D wins copyright lawsuit over Miles Davis tattoo

Kat Von D has won a copyright lawsuit over a Miles Davis tattoo she inked a few years ago.

The high-profile tattoo artist and musician faced accusations of copyright infringement back in 2021, when she was sued by photographer Jeffrey Sedlik after tattooing a portrait of the iconic jazz artist, Miles Davis.

According to the lawsuit, Sedlik claimed that the portrait inked by Von D in 2017 constituted a copyright infringement of an image he took of the musician back in 1989 – taken as part of a cover story for JAZZIZ magazine.

Now, nearly three years after the suit was first raised, Von D has won the case and has been cleared of any allegations of infringement. This came as a jury ruled that a tattoo reproduction of the photo did not violate copyright.

“This case should never have been brought [forward],” Kat Von D’s lawyer told The New York Times on Friday (January 26). “It took the jury two hours to come to the same conclusion that everybody should have come to from the start: That what happened here was not an infringement.”

Von D herself also commented on the verdict, adding (via Daily Mail): “I’m obviously very happy for this to be over. It’s been two years of a nightmare worrying about this, not just for myself but for my fellow tattoo artists.’

Speaking of the result, Sedlik’s lawyer also spoke to the outlet, saying: “Obviously, we’re very disappointed. There are certain issues that never should have gone to the jury.”

“The first, whether the tattoo and the photograph were substantially similar,” they continued. “Not only are they substantially similar, but they’re strikingly similar.”

In other Kat Von D news, back in 2017 the celebrity tattoo artist joined forces with Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong to create a new eyeliner called Basket Case Liner. The product was created as part of her hit KVD make-up range, which she sold ownership to last year.

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