Kiesza is being sued by American graffiti artist Jamie Mitchel Kosse, better known as Jamie Hef, over the unlicensed appropriation of his work in the video for her 2014 breakout hit "Hideaway." Meanwhile, designers Jeremy Scott and Moschino are facing legal backlash after featuring work by graffiti artist Joseph Tierney, better known as Rime, on the dress Katy Perry wore to the Met Gala in NYC last May.
When Kiesza decided to use a certain Williamsburg, Brooklyn, block featuring Jamie Hef's artwork as the backdrop for the "Hideaway" video, she probably thought the move was akin to an Instagram selfie. The clip, which essentially launched the singer's career on an international level, has clocked-in over 300 million views on YouTube and received a Juno Award for Video of the Year.
However, the "gritty, cool" backdrop is now biting Kiesza and her team. Kosse is suing the team behind "Hideaway" because they used the images without the artist's permission, The Guardian reports.
The lawsuit also states that the "Hideaway" video "creates the false impression that the plaintiff endorses Kiesza, which he does not, and that he authorised the usage of his highly distinctive works to promote the launch of Kiesza's career," Thump reports.
According to Courthouse News, the seven-page lawsuit states that the street art in question is a series of five pieces that cover the entire city block. The mural is known as "Frogs, Elephant, Alphabet Demons, Adam and Graffiti HEFS" and was created in that particular location with the permission of the property manager.
As TMZ points out, Kosse's work has previously been legally featured in movies including The Dictator, and has been licensed by NBC and CBS for other projects as well. The lawsuit cites these examples in asserting that the singer and her team were probably aware of the licensing process but opted not to follow the example set by others.