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Graffiti artist roars over Katy Perry dress

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Joseph Tierney, a street artist who goes by the name Rime, is roaring mad at Italian fashion firm Moschino and designer Jeremy Scott.

The artist sued the company and Scott for copyright infringement and misappropriation after they allegedly used his graffiti art on their expensive outfits, one of which was worn by singer Katy Perry at a high-profile event in New York City.

Ms. Perry, the singer behind hits such as Roar, Firework and I Kissed a Girl, was not named as a defendant. But the superstar is discussed in the lawsuit because she was allegedly paid to wear the dress to the Metropolitan Museum of Art's annual Met Gala, a prominent fundraising event. The singer was widely photographed in the dress and made several “worst-dressed” lists in a publicity stunt that Rime believes damaged his street cred, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed on Aug. 5 in California district court, accused Moschino and Mr. Scott of copying an image called “Vandal Eyes” Rime drew on the side of a Detroit building on the company's apparel and displaying and selling outfits with the copyrighted artwork without Rime's permission. The defendants allegedly misappropriated Rime's name and likeness by using the artwork and falsely represented themselves as the creators by including the brand name Moschino on the outfits.

The dress was also worn by supermodel Gigi Hadid and widely photographed as the closing piece in Moschino's February 2015 runway show in Milan.

The artist demanded that the company stop using the artwork and remove all clothing featuring the image after discovering the alleged misappropriation, but the items are still being promoted and sold via the company's websites and social media accounts, according to the lawsuit.

The company and Scott benefitted from the misappropriation and infringement by increasing revenues and value via sales of the collection, the lawsuit stated. Rime is seeking damages and costs, including lawyers' fees and expenses, but he also wants the offending outfits recalled and destroyed.