Kendrick Lamar Resolves Artist’s Copyright Lawsuit Over ‘Black Panther’ Video

Lina Iris Viktor has reportedly reached a settlement in her lawsuit against Lamar and SZA over visuals for their song ‘All the Stars’

Kendrick Lamar, SZA, All The Stars, 2018, film still. Courtesy: the artists

Kendrick Lamar, SZA, All The Stars, 2018, film still. Courtesy: the artists

Artist Lina Iris Viktor has reached a settlement with musicians Kendrick Lamar and SZA in her copyright lawsuit against them. Viktor claimed that Lamar and SZA had used her work without permission in the music video for their song ‘All the Stars’, which was part of the soundtrack for the 2018 Marvel blockbuster Black Panther.

Viktor’s ‘Constellations’ (2016-18) series of artworks constitute intricate gold geometric shapes across black painted backgrounds. The video for ‘All the Stars’ featured golden patterning on dark backdrops, and characters dressed in gold costumes. The artist’s legal complaint included side-by-side comparisons of similar patterns seen in both the video and paintings. ‘All the Stars’ was nominated for four awards at the 2019 Grammy Awards.

Lina Iris Viktor, Constellations I Study, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

Lina Iris Viktor, Constellations I Study, 2016. Courtesy: the artist and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery

The British-Liberian artist said that she had initially been approched by Black Panther representatives requesting her work be used in the film’s promotion, which she declined, because the ‘financial and artistic terms offered for her collaboration were not acceptable.’

Earlier this year, Viktor commented: ‘Why would they do this? It’s an ethical issue, because what the whole film purports is that it’s about black empowerment, African excellence – that’s the whole concept of the the story. And at the same time they’re stealing from African artists.’

Her suit, which was filed last February, alleged that elements of the music video were ‘so clearly a copy of the artist’s work.’ An agreement ‘in principle’ was reached as of 21 December, according to Pitchfork.

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