Firm announces victory in case against NRA

December 6, 2018, San Francisco

Lawyers representing Sir Anish Kapoor, the world renowned London-based artist, announced today the settlement of a lawsuit Mr. Kapoor initiated earlier this year against the National Rifle Association. 

Mr. Kapoor sued the NRA for using, without his permission, an image of his sculpture “Cloud Gate” (also known colloquially as “The Bean”) located in Millennium Park in Chicago, in a notorious NRA recruiting and fundraising video narrated by Dana Loesch entitled “The Violence of Lies.”  The video is a naked piece of propaganda that, according to the Washington Post, was “designed to provoke fear, if not incite violence,” and according to the New York Times became “one of the latest flash points for partisan anger.”

Appalled over the use of his work in that video, Mr. Kapoor asked that the NRA remove it from the video.  When the NRA refused to do so, the artist went public with his objection to and disgust over the use of his creative work in a video he felt played to the worst impulses of paranoia, conflict and violence.  When the NRA still refused to remove Cloud Gate from the video,

Mr. Kapoor filed his lawsuit in June of this year, alleging willful copyright infringement, and seeking to prevent the NRA from further exploiting his work in its video. 

On Nov. 14th, the Court denied the NRA’s attempt to halt or delay discovery in the case.  Shortly thereafter, the NRA agreed to settle with Mr. Kapoor.

Under the settlement, the NRA will remove the images of Cloud Gate from all copies of “The Violence of Lies” video in any distribution channels over which it has control, and agrees not to use it again in the future.

Kapoor’s lead counsel, Nicholas A. Carlin of Phillips, Erlewine, Given & Carlin LLP in San Francisco stated: “We are gratified and pleased with this settlement. In addition to being a wonderful artist, Anish Kapoor is a man of great integrity and humanity. It took a lot of guts for him to go up against the NRA, but he persevered and has now achieved his goal of forcing the NRA to remove Cloud Gate from its videos.”

In his own public statement on the matter, Mr. Kapoor challenged the NRA to contribute $1 million to charities for victims of gun violence such as Every Town for Gun Safety, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Giffords, The Brady Campaign, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

The case is Kapoor v. National Rifle Association, US District Court for the Easter District of Virginia, Civil Action Number 1:18-cv-1320. Kapoor is represented in the litigation by Nicholas A. Carlin, David Given and Jake Feaver of Phillips, Erlewine, Given &Carlin LLP, and Simon Frankel, Justin Ganderson and Christina Copsey of Covington & Burling LLP.

Read more with The New York Times, CNN, The Guardian, and The BBC.

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Summary

The firm represented world-renowned sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor in a copyright infringement lawsuit against the National Rifle Association, who used an image of his famed Cloud Gate sculpture (also known as the “The Bean”) in an inflammatory and highly-controversial video without his permission.  The video, variously entitled “The Clenched Fist of Truth” or “The Violence of Lies,” was part of a larger series of videos produced by the NRA meant to incite violence against the media and the “liberal agenda.” The NRA will remove the images of Cloud Gate from all copies of its video and agrees to not use the artwork’s image in the future.

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