Megadeth has been sued for copyright infringement by the person who created the artwork for the band’s latest album, The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!
In the suit, which was obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, artist Brent Elliott White, who created art for previous Megadeth albums, alleges that the thrash metallers used his his work for the cover of The Sick “all without having paid [White] and without his permission.” It names Megadeth, frontman Dave Mustaine and the label Universal Music Group among the defendants.
When details of The Sick were first announced in June 2022, White claims that, “Without a signed agreement with Plaintiff in place and without paying Plaintiff anything for his work, Megadeth knowingly released Plaintiff’s artwork and — shockingly to Plaintiff — credited its lead singer, Dave Mustaine, for the album’s ‘Art Concept.'”
White says he then reached out to Universal Music Group, reiterating that they “don’t have a contract or art release or usage agreement.” White alleges that, “Defendants attempted to force Plaintiff to accept the same terms as for the first Megadeth album he provided artwork for,” which he had previously stated “would not be acceptable.”
By the time The Sick was eventually released in September 2022, White says he still did not have a contract or usage agreement with the defendants, thus they were using his artwork “without his permission.”
The suit also alleges that Megadeth improperly licensed White’s artwork to third parties.
“To date, Megadeth has still failed to pay Plaintiff for the work he performed for Megadeth,” the suit reads. “Moreover, Plaintiff has not been credited for his artwork.”
Reps for Megadeth and UMG have not responded to The Hollywood Reporter’s request for comment.
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