While the video for Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All The Stars” collaboration for the Black Panther film has been generally well-received, one artist is actually set to take legal action against those behind the visuals for what she perceives to be a copyright infringment of her work.Around the 2:59 mark in the clip, there is a clear incorporation of artwork that many fans believed to be the work of the British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor, but most recently, Viktor came forward to declare that what is seen is, in fact, not her work, but a replicated version used without her permission.“The infringement of Ms. Viktor’s rights is willful and egregious,” reads a letter composed by Viktor’s lawyer Christopher Robinson and addressed to Top Dawg Entertainment’s Anthony Tiffith, alleging a copyright violation of the 24-karat gold artwork in her series of paintings “Constellations.”According to Robinson, his client was contacted on two seperate occasions by representatives of the film to have her work included in promotional materials. She would decline the offers, but was shocked to see close interpretations of her style in the newly-released video.https://youtu.be/JQbjS0_ZfJ0
“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,” Viktor told the New York Times. “That’s the whole concept of the story. And at the same time they’re stealing from African artists.
The visually striking music video is co-directed by Dave Meyers, alongside Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free (the creative duo known as “the little homies”). Nancy E. Wolff, president of the Copyright Society of the USA, told the publication that the minds behind the video will likely counter the claim on the basis that the images used in the video are not actual copies of Viktor’s work.
At the moment, Kendrick Lamar, Anthony Tiffith, Disney, and Dave Meyers have all declined the NYT’s request for comment.