Kat Von D Thinks Miles Davis Tattoo Case Was ‘An Opportunity To Gain Publicity’

In a recent video, Kat Von D finally addresses the lawsuit filed against her by a photographer, now that she has emerged victorious in the legal dispute. The lawsuit centered around a tattoo she had previously designed, inspired by a portrait of the jazz trumpeter Miles Davis.

Kat Von D expressed in the video that the favorable verdict is not just a personal victory but also a positive development for tattoo artists across the board. Additionally, she stated that it was just an opportunity for the photographer to gain publicity. Von D explained in the video:

“I was getting sued by a photographer for a tattoo that I did about seven years ago. It has been a really heavy week. This has been going on for the last two years. I think I’m still a little bit traumatized by the entire experience. It was just an extremely painful process, and I’m so, so grateful that it’s over.”

The tattoo artist then addressed the lawyer fees and the heaviness of the matter:

“I truly believe that he saw this as an opportunity to gain publicity and to gain a lot of money. And, unfortunately for him, it’s backfired. I have no idea what his lawyer fees are, but I know what mine are. And now he may have to have the burden of paying for those. I know that he’s going to appeal this until the end of time if he can, because his ego just won’t allow him to let it go. And I think perhaps that’s probably the worst punishment of all for what he’s done. Because I can’t imagine having to live with just, that kind of heaviness.”

The Jury’s Statements On The Picture and The Tattoo

The original photo of Davis was taken by photographer Jeffrey Sedlik, who subsequently sued Kat Von D, claiming that the tattoo she created infringed upon his copyright of the image. The trial commenced on a Tuesday in Los Angeles, with Sedlik suing Von D over her tattooing of a 1989 photo of Miles Davis on her friend Blake Farmer. However, in a verdict earlier this month, a jury ruled in favor of Von D, bringing the legal dispute to a close.

After coming across a picture of the tattoo on Von D’s Instagram, the photographer accused her of unlawfully replicating his copyrighted photo. However, during the trial’s outset, Von D’s attorney, Allen B. Grodsky, addressed the jury, stating:

“You will see that there are many differences: differences in the position and shape of shadows, difference in the use of light, difference in the hairstyle, differences in the shape and rendering of the eyes. Kat Von D’s interpretation of Miles Davis had a sentiment that was more melancholy than Mr. Sedlik’s, and you’ll see that it has movement that’s not found in his. Kat Von D did not attempt to monetize the tattoo in any way. She did not make photos of prints that she sold. She didn’t sell tee shirts or mugs. She didn’t sell products in any way.”

The trial ended with victory for Kat Von D.

You can watch Von D’s explanation about the lawsuit here.