All press is not good press for luxury lifestyle brand Louis Vuitton.
Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH), the parent company of Louis Vuitton, has reached an agreement with Warner Music Group’s Bad Boy Records over the unauthorized use of its intellectual property by former artist Danity Kane, according to an official statement from the LVMH.
The newly-defunct girl group illegally used references to Louis Vuitton trademarks in their first album Danity Kane and in two of their music videos. Some of the offending lyrics included lines from their 2006 debut single "Show Stopper." "Bet you ain’t never seen/Chicks ridin’ this clean/Louis Vuitton seats/We do it deadly," the girls sang, much to LV’s chagrin.
Check out the vid for "Show Stopper." Can you spot the unauthorized "visual reference?"
LVMH announced Thursday that it had settled the lawsuit brought against Diddy’s company with an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed amount. Bad Boy also agreed to remove any visual references to LV trademarks in both the album and the videos.
"This worldwide agreement, combined with our previously announced agreement with Sony BMG in 2008, demonstrates our successful efforts throughout the music industry to defend our brand and intellectual property from unauthorized use, and to protect the best interest of our customers," said Nathalie Moulle-Berteaux, intellectual property director of Louis Vuitton.
The previous agreement she referred to was a similar suit against Sony artists Ruben Studdard, Da Brat and Britney Spears. The label agreed to pay LVMH 100,000 euros (or around $155, 830 at the time) for the copyright breaches, reported New York magazine in August of 2008.
The works in question were Ruben’s The Return, Da Brat’s "In Love Wit Chu" video (Brat was playing with an LV monogrammed beach ball) and Britney’s "Do Something" video that featured a baby pink, LV monogrammed car dashboard. The corporation’s response to Brit’s tricked out ride? "We don’t make dashboards." In other words: it was a fake. Ouch.
T.I.’s "Swing Ya Rag" video was also targeted by the French company. He was prevented from releasing the offending video. Lyrics from the song included "I just take my Louis rag out and wave it ’round in the air."
Other urban artists, notably Kanye West (who calls himself the Louis Vuitton Don– no lawsuit pending though) and Pharrell Williams, have been embraced by Louis Vuitton. Both collaborated with the brand for signature collections; Kanye will put out a Louis Vuitton deck shoe this year and Pharrell’s Blason jewelry line with LV debuted last year.
Diddy’s Unforgivable cologne is also being sued by an artist that alleges copyright infringement.
– Whitney Teal