On the heels of the copyright infringement lawsuit that the estate of late artist Dash Snow filed against McDonald’s in October, six Brooklyn graffiti artists have threatened to file suit against the fast food chain, for allegedly featuring their work in a Dutch advertising campaign without their permission.
According to a cease and desist letter sent to McDonald’s by counsel for Brooklyn artists Don Rimx, Beau Stanton, Virus, NDA, Atomik, and Himbad, McDonald’s ran afoul of U.S. copyright law by featuring the work of the aforementioned artists in a four-minute video, entitled, “McDonald’s Presents the Vibe of Bushwick.” The video highlights graffiti associated with the Bushwick Collective, a group of New York-based graffiti artists that teamed up with McDonald’s, but according to the cease and desist letter, it also features the work of Don Rimx, Beau Stanton, Virus, NDA, Atomik, and Himbad.
The video has been pulled by McDonald’s, but not before it could have been viewed “millions of people,” according to the artists’ lawyer Andrew Gerber of Kushnirsky Gerber PLLC.
The letter points out that McDonald’s sought the permission of the owners of the buildings on which the graffiti murals appear but not from the artists.
In statement last week, Gerber said: “The case hinges on the perception that they are somehow affiliated with or involved with this product and that they are endorsing McDonald’s, when they absolutely are not. The implied affiliation with McDonald’s can cause real and lasting damage to these artists’ reputation and to the value of their work.” He further noted that in addition to the six artists named in the cease and desist, he has been in discussion with other artists whose work was featured in the McDonald’s video without their authorization.
Meanwhile, McDonald's Corp reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly profit and U.S. same-restaurant sales on lower costs, promotions on popular menu items like Big Macs and an expanded all-day breakfast menu.
According to Reuters, "McDonald's shares popped to an all-time high in early trade, jumping 4.2 percent to $139.90 after profit topped Wall Street's estimate by 14 cents per share.The company is two years into a corporate turnaround under Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, who has slashed overhead, introduced the all-day breakfast and switched U.S. restaurants to chicken raised without human antibiotics in a bid to modernize the 60-year old chain that was losing business to rivals such as Wendy's and Burger King,"