Man sued for showing tattoo on Cardi B cover loses, pays legal fees


From red ink Department

It’s strange how many posts we have on the subject of tattoos here. But if you go and review the posts we’ve done on this topic, you’ll see that most of them involve tattoo artists claiming intellectual property rights, not those who tattooed their bodies. The topic of this post is about the latter.

Most of you will be at least a little familiar with rap star Cardi B. In 2016, Cardi B released a mixtape titled Gangsta Bitch Music Vol. 1, The mixtape’s cover was designed to challenge traditional gender roles in rap and invert them in a way that Cardi B is definitely not subservient to men.

It turns out that the inspiration for the tattoo on the man serving Cardi B was a tattoo that appears on the back of a man named Kevin Brophy. The tattoo depicted on the cover is not exactly the same as Brophy’s, but they are very close.

and as a result, Brophy Cardi B sued for embezzlement,

A married father of two and lifelong surfer, Brophy lives in Costa Mesa and works as a marketing manager for a surfing lifestyle company. He told a jury of four men and four women on Tuesday that he worried that his young son and daughter would eventually see the cover or that their friends would show it to them.

“It was a long journey to get this tattoo. “It took a lot of commitment,” Brophy said. “To see it like that was a slap in my face and a complete disrespect to me and my family. It is as if I am having oral sex with someone who is not my wife, someone who is not my partner. An image I’ve never signed,” Brophy testified.

On the one hand, I can understand the discomfort here. Even the allusion to an album cover showing her performing a sexual act with a music artist probably wasn’t Brophy’s best day ever. But here’s the problem: Brophy lost his case, Why? because cover was not Image courtesy of Brophy. It took a small part of his image, the tattoo, altered it somewhat, and then Photoshopped it onto the back of a man who is unrecognizable as Brophy. For example, Brophy is bald and the man on the cover has hair. Brophy is white, while the man depicted on the cover is black.

And, all of this amounts to transformative speech protected by the First Amendment.

cardi’s lawyer Peter Anderson Concluding for his side, he argued that the mixtape cover uses parts of Brophy’s tattoos in a way that turns them into another piece of art and is protected by the First Amendment. He also questioned how Brophy had been harmed, saying that his attorney was exaggerating by saying that Cardi ruined his life for five years.

As a result, Brophy later agreed to pay Cardi B’s attorney fees,

“The parties have now reached an agreement to avoid the application of attorney fees and tax costs and to avoid the requirement of Defendant’s motion for Plaintiff’s new trial motion,” said the stipulation filed Monday. Under that settlement, Brophy would pay $350,000 in attorney fees and drop his motion for a new trial.

There appears to have been an exchange during the adjudication of the original lawsuit, in which Brophy made a point of telling the artist that he respected his work and mentioned that they also knew some people who Running in the same circle. He is said to have replied in kind.

After getting one win after another on the court, that probably becomes a little easier.

Filed Under: Cardi B, Copyright, Kevin Brophy, Misuse, Tattoo