In 2009, Green Day used a work of art (pictured above) for their own creative use which caught the angry attention of artist David Seltzer.
The artist sued the band for "stealing" his "frightened, fang-toothed face" for their own professional use.
Unfortunately for Seltzer, he ended up being the one who won the battle for Green Day.
[T]ainted the original message of the image and made it now synonymous with lyrics, a video, and concert tour that it was not originally intended to be used with. I make an image, I produce it, I tailor it to my needs, the concept, the content, and then someone comes along, defaces the image, puts a red cross on it. I mean, maliciously devalues the original intent and then shows it to thousands upon thousands of people.
The rules of fair use are tricky ones and when David testified, he opened the door for the judge to find Green Day's use a "transformative."
By saying the art's meaning had changed and was used for a different purpose, the judge found Green Day innocent.
Judge Gutierrez concluded:
Given the fundamentally different purposes of the two works, Staub's use of a modified version of the Scream Icon image in the East Jesus Nowhere video backdrop cannot reasonably be deemed a market substitute for Plaintiff's original Scream Icon image.
Tough break, Seltzer!
What do U think of the court's decision?
[Image via WENN/David Seltzer.]