Kendall and Kylie Jenner have come to a legal settlement over their controversial T-shirt line.
Photographer Michael Miller sued Kendall and Kylie Jenner in mid-2017 for copyright infringement over their use of his Tupac Shakur portraits.
Miller had stated in his complaint that the sisters “misappropriated and wrongfully exploited at least two original photographs of late hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur, slapping the iconic photographs on garments and overlaying them with dubious imagery and text.”
Both parties requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, with each covering its own legal fees.
Miller’s lawsuit added that the photographer was never notified that the Jenners “intended to exploit his photography, let alone obtain his authorization.” The lawsuit also mentioned that Miller didn’t want to be associated with Kendall in particular following the model’s minor role in the Fyre Festival disaster as well as ill-thought out Pepsi ad, which the lawsuit called “public relations disasters.”
“It was very upsetting to Mr. Miller,” the photographer’s lawyer Scott Alan Burroughs told USA Today. “His photography and particularly these photos are extremely personal and extremely important to him. To see them out there being used by someone who never advised you they were going to be used would be upsetting to any artist.”
In response to Miller’s lawsuit, the fashion label for Kendall and Kylie Jenner’s line released a statement, claiming that Shakur’s portraits were taken from a company with the proper photo license. The Associated Press reports the statement read, “The allegations made are completely false and the lawsuit is baseless. There has been no infringement or violation of anyone’s rights.”
The shirts were a part of the limited-edition, 15-piece collection of vintage T-shirts the sisters released for their contemporary label, Kendall + Kylie, before an onslaught of criticism led to the entire collection being pulled from the site.
Following criticism from the likes of Sharon Osbourne, The Doors manager, and Voletta Wallace, mother of the late Christopher Wallace, a.k.a The Notorious B.I.G., the Jenners released an apology.
The B.I.G. estate shared that while they “appreciated” the apology, “the matter has yet to be resolved.”
The Jenners’ representative Todd Wilson told TMZ in a statement that Miller’s lawsuit was akin to “suing an actor for being in a movie,” stating that the sisters had no role in the actual creation of the clothing.
Having registered his portraits at the U.S. Office of Copyright, Miller could receive statutory damages of $150,000 per photo.