Wu-Tang, Shkreli and Copyright Infringement, Part 2

The CEO everyone loves to hate will soon be back in court, probably.

Digital Media News reports Martin Shkreli is being sued for copyright infringement over his purchase of the one-and-only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan’s Once Upon a Time in Shaolin.

Wu-Tang used Paddle8 to sell the album, an online service that specializes in rare collectibles and pieces of art, writes DMN‘s Charlotte Hassan. Shkreli paid $2 million for the album and has been a real ass about it ever since, at times threatening to either make it widely available or to destroy it when he was in the midst of a snark fight with Ghostface Killah earlier this year.

 

But Ghostface Killah wasn’t the only person Shkreli has angered in regards to the album. Word came out earlier this year that Jason Koza, an artist whose work was included in a package contained with the album. Koza says he never gave permission for this original artwork to be used and, in fact, the only place the the artwork was supposed to appear was the website displaying the album.

Koza has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Shkreli, Paddle8 and Wu-Tang Clan’s producer, Tarik “Cilvaringz” Azzougarh, DMN reports.

 

Shkreli, ever the “victim” in his own life, now says he “did not directly infringe the images. Shkreli is merely a buyer, and doesn’t bear responsibility for contents he assumed were covered. Furthermore, Shkreli didn’t directly copy the images or display them publicly, or conduct in any activity that constitutes direct copyright infringement,” Hassan says. Shkreli is trying to convince a New York federal court to remove him from any liability.

Does he have a leg to stand on, or will he be held accountable for his actions in purchasing the album? Is this a “buyer beware” situation or will there be some kind of karmic retribution for Shkreli being a special kind of awful person? Stay tuned.

 

Amber Healy

I write about music policy and lawsuits because they're endlessly fascinating.

One thought on “Wu-Tang, Shkreli and Copyright Infringement, Part 2

  • April 5, 2016 at 1:21 pm
    Permalink

    As much as I would love this douchebag to get kicked down at every opportunity, I think if the law sides against him it will set a VERY dangerous prescident for copyright laws that are messed up enough as it is.

    What’s to stop someone selling something on ebay, and then suing the pants off the buyer for ‘copyright infringement’ (because that is essentially what happened here). Makes no sense. There is no theft of intellectual property here. Maybe false advertising if you stretch it, or breach of contract–but both of those are with those who sold the artwork, not the man who bought it.

    Reply

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