CALIFORNIA (CelebrityAccess) – The estate of late rapper Notorious B.I.G. has filed suit against Swiss snowboarding company Yes Snowboards for allegedly using the legendary rapper’s image on its products without permission.
In court documents obtained by The Blast, Biggie’s mother Voletta Wallace and widow, R&B singer Faith Evans argue that the company has infringed on the estate’s copyrights, trademarks and right of publicity.
The image in question – a photo of Biggie (née Christopher Wallace) standing in front of New York’s Twin Towers – was taken by well-known hip-hop photographer Chi Modu and is being used as part of a campaign called “Greats x Chi,” which is a partnership between Yes Snowboards and Modu himself. The collection also features photographs of Tupac Shakur, Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E.
“In complete disregard for BIG’s rights, and with knowledge of the infringing nature of their actions, Defendants knowingly used Wallace’s image, without permission from nor compensation to BIG,” the complaint reads. “Without hesitation, Defendants usurped Wallace’s image for the sole purpose of profiting from the sale of unauthorized and infringing products, and, specifically, posters, prints and other artwork.”
The lawsuit is seeking an injunction against Yes, along with all profits the company made off the products and unspecified damages.
At the time of publication, snowboards and other products featuring Wallace appear to have been removed from the company’s website.
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