theJasmineBRAND.com exclusively reports, Kendrick Lamar has returned to court in the battle with a photographer – who accuses the rapper of illegally profiting off his work – and he is pleading with the judge to not force him to provide private financial documents revealing his income from his music and touring.
Here’s the latest: On August 29th, Cipriani fired back at Kendrick and demanded the judge not set a hearing despite the rapper’s plea. He explains earlier this month, both parties attended a conference with the judge where it was decided that Kendrick had to hand over gross revenues earned from the sales of his “The Blacker the Berry” single and the album “To Pimp a Butterfly”, along with accounting for his live performances which included the song and album.
The photographer says it’s simple — Kendrick used his photograph without permission to promote his single and it’s illegal use on the YouTube page is infringement. The man believes he is entitled to profits made off the single and album due to his image being used in the promotion.
Cipriani says the court already ordered the rapper to hand over the financial documents by the end of this year and the photographer is demanding that decision stay in place and Kendrick not be allowed to plea to the judge in the hearing he requested.
Here’s the backstory: Last year, a man named Gioradno Cipriani filed a federal lawsuit against Kendrick Lamar, Interscope Records and Aftermath Entertainment.
He explained he is a freelance photographer who has had his art featured in numerous publications and he earns his living by licensing the rights to his work.
Cipriani said Kendrick stole one of his photos that was taken in Africa back in 2011. The photo shows a mother breastfeeding her child.
The lawsuit explained Kendrick released his album “To Pimp a Butterfly” in March of this year. The album included the single “The Blacker the Berry”, which the photographer says is where Kendrick used his photo to promote the single via online marketing on his various social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram Etc.
Cipriani said the rapper never asked for permission nor did the record labels and he was not paid/compensated for the image. He demanded an injunction against Kendrick from continuing to rip off his work along with damages for the unauthorized use of his photo on the album.
Kendrick responded to the photographer’s lawsuit and demanded the entire case be thrown out of court. Kendrick said that Cipriani never stated anywhere in his complaint that he even owned a copyright for the photo. Kendrick believes this was omitted because the man didn’t own one at the time his album was released.
Kendrick later filed docs in the case pleading for a hearing in the case and said he shouldn’t have to hand over confidential financial information about his income to the man.
He says that the man is trying to get him to produce documents related to his touring and album sales.
He also explains that after the photographer sent him a cease and desist over the photo, he promptly removed it. However, he says he only used the as a background “wallpaper” when a user visited his YouTube page to steam the single.
Kendrick says the man should not be allowed to conduct broad discovery – meaning he should not be allowed to demand that he hand over financial documents and accounting related to his music and performances.
He says if the photographer is allowed to demand all the documents, he will be unduly burdened by having to gather all the financial documents and it will cost him and the court valuable resources.
Further, he says the photo wasn’t used in connection with any work that was sold to his fans but rather just shown on the YouTube for free. He claims the man is still demanding damages for copyright infringement despite him not using the image during his tour, on merchandise or even his album. Kendrick believes the law is clear in cases like this — if the man wins on his copyright infringement claim — he would only be entitled to the lost licensing fee he charges and profits the rapper made off work that infringed on the copyright, which according to him is nothing.
He is pleading for a hearing where it will be determined if Kendrick will have to hand over the financial documents in the case and he believes once he argues his case in court the entire case may be dismissed by the judge.