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Mercedes hits street artists in court

Posted On: Sep. 12, 2019 2:32 PM CST


Street artists upset their work was shown in a Mercedes Benz commercial may get run over by the luxury car company in court, after a Michigan federal judge held the company’s ads may be protected by the Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act, the Hollywood Reporter posted Wednesday.

The four Detroit artists had sent the company cease and desist letters after their murals were featured in the background of the car marker’s G 500 advertising, and Mercedes responded by suing the artists, seeking a court decision finding it didn’t infringe on the artists’ copyrights, according to the news article.

In its complaint, Mercedes claimed the four failed to register copyright of their works, and the AWCPA “effectively bars copyright claims” for buildings publicly visible and shown in photos, the news site reported.

The artists’ attorney told the media outlet it is encouraged by the judge’s statement that works of art are entitled to protection, and Mercedes’ attorney said it was “unfortunate” the company was “forced to pursue litigation because of the positions” the artists have taken.