Photographer Giordano Cipriani has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Kendrick Lamar for the use of his image without permission. The image in question was used as artwork for the single “The Blacker the Berry.”
The image in question is of twins breastfeeding from their mother, which Cipriani shot in 2011 while visiting Africa. He claims the image is being used without his permission. Per the lawsuit, Cipriani is seeking damages upwards of $150,000 for each use of the image in addition to legal fees. I have covered artists ripping off photos and posting them to Instagram before – e.g., Diddy, Ludacris, and of course Snoop Dogg who lifted fellow writer Mike Kelley’s "Wake Turbulence" shot without attribution or link. However, this time it was used in a commercial manner – which in terms of damages, is much more expensive of a breach.
I can’t comprehend how Lamar and other artists who have such a substantial reach think that it’s okay or worse, no one will notice that the image was used without permission. I honestly hope that the damages are awarded, as this type of behavior needs to stop. You can see the original image on Giordano’s website (NSFW).
Lamar has not responded to the allegations as of yet.