News September 8, 2016

Motley Crue sued by photographers

Charts & New Music Editor
Motley Crue sued by photographers

Photographers Neil Zlozower and Barry Levine are suing disbanded glam metal group Motley Crue over the use of their imagery. 

The pair allege Motley Crue infringed copyright by using their images on merchandise during the band’s lengthy farewell tour, which spanned almost 18 months through 2014 and 2015.

The lawsuit was filed against the group on September 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Zlozower and Levine are seeking profits from the sale of the merchandise featuring their photographs, as well as damages and attorney’s fees.

The photographs that appear on the merchandise were taken by Zlozower and Levine in the 1980s. The Final Tour grossed approximately US$86 million (AU$112 million), with sales from merchandise comprising a considerable portion of the total tour revenue.

The photographers, who are set to receive a substantial financial cut if the pending case is ruled in their favour, argue that they never gave permission to the band to use their photographs on the various merchandise items that were sold during the tour including T-shirts, hats and stickers.  

The report states that “defendants infringed Plaintiff’s copyright in the Photographs by reproducing, publicly displaying, and selling the Photographs on merchandise. Defendants are not, and have never been, licensed or otherwise authorized to reproduce, publicly display, distribute, sell and/or use the Photographs on merchandise.”

Motley Crue have encountered their fair share of legal troubles throughout their career. Aside from their well documented drug abuse that often landed the band in hot water, vocalist Vince Neil was charged with a DUI and vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to 30 days in jail after being involved in a head-on collision in which a passenger, Hanoi Rocks drummer Nicholas “Razzle” Dingley, was killed.

In April 2015, Neil was sued for US$75,000 (AU$97,680) in damages relating to an incident outside a Las Vegas hotel in which the singer allegedly assaulted a woman by grabbing her hair and pulling her to the ground.

Meanwhile, Motley Crue are extending their merchandising arm even further by landing a deal with adult toy manufacturers LoveHoney to produce a range of Motley Crue-inspired vibrators available later this month.


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