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Mercedes Benz Is In Big Trouble After A Single Instagram Post

Modern companies need to use social media these days. There’s no way about it, use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, or your business will rarely get off the ground. But sometimes this communication with customers can be a bit too easy. It’s so easy to say the wrong thing, or post the wrong photo. And this is exactly what Mercedes Benz has done on their Instagram page.

The brand has come under legal issues after posting a photo of the Mercedes G-Wagen. Looking at the photo you wouldn’t think anything of it, but the murals in the background were created by artists, and these artists don’t want their work being used in promotional media for a company.

They’ve threatened to sue Mercedes, but the German company has retaliated by suing them back to get approval by the courts to use these images, which were originally posted in January 2018.

U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn has said the murals have ‘a uniqueness’ and are ‘entitled to protection’ because of this. Lawyers have also stated that Mercedes is only trying to intimidate and bully them.

James Lewis, one of the artists, told the Free Press that the fight “could have been avoided if Mercedes hadn’t been so arrogant.”

Let us know what you think should happen in the comments, and we’ll update you as the situation unfolds.

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  1. If the want the graffiti to be private then don’t put it out in public period. If it was behind a fenced area or something then I could see the problems but, if it’s in public view then it’s a nuisance and to bad that it was caught on camera. I’ve had the same problem on my ProFan Youtube channel.

  2. Dumb judgement and dumb artist.
    What decides – ‘uniqueness’? So if I paint anything ‘unique’ – can I then sue anybody that post pictures of my ‘art’? Get real…

    Beside – for me – the dragon on the painting looks much like ‘Night Fury’ – maybe the creators of ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ shoud sue The artist now?

  3. Very usual with these “artists” it is ok for them to display their “art” in public and” free” spaces but they are so anal when it is used by a corppration. They should stik this “art” up in their buttholes if they don’t want them display in these FREE platforms. Common sense. Who is discriminating here? Artists, yeah right they probably want money.

  4. Google street view took a picture of my house. I want money for that. I painted my house one solid color, but it is a work of art. Pay me my money Google.

  5. If you walk down a public street and I take a picture of you in order to use it for let’s say diarrhea medicine – or the “before” picture of a whatever treatment – without asking you: Would you mind?
    Just because art is in a public place doesn’t mean that someone else is allowed to exploit and profit from it. They can take pictures of it all day – but publishing them without the artist’s OK to sell their car is copyright infringement.
    Btw: the artists don’t get advertising as they aren’t named. And Mercedes knows this, they have been in business long enough and should have found an agreement with the artists – pay them, or give them a platform at some of their other activities.

    1. You are comparing using a human being to using some paint on a building on a public highway you talk utter rubbish. But this is USA and their courts are storage beasts

  6. The art is signed by the artist. The art is owned by the artist. Mercedes is profiting by using that art. Case closed. Pay the artist Mercedes. And the rest of you sidewalk lawyers get another bag of chips and sit back down in front of your tv and shut up. Lolol

  7. These images are in the Public Domain.

    No-one can copyright an image on the street The images are not more than a street background.

  8. The murals are in a public space. They are part of the scenery, and should be treated as such. Should the architect who designed the building the murals are on be able to sue if he doesn’t want his building used as promotional material? It’s not as if Mercedes (or perhaps more accurately, the company that does their advertising) walked into a private art gallery, took a photo surreptitiously, and digitally inserted it into an ad. Perhaps it’s the artists that are being arrogant in thinking they own the scenery. Hope it gets tossed out of court.

  9. If you don’t want people taking photos of your art don’t leave it in a public space. Mercedes has every right to drive public roads and take photos.

  10. So if an artist paints a wall then decides it cant be used in a media shot why did they paint a wall out side if they didnt want it to be viewed by the masses.? PUBLIC SPACE NO COPYRIGHT IMPLIED?I think the artist should be saying ok give me a deuch mark or 2 no biggie.

  11. The artists displayed their art in a public place for everyone to enjoy. Assuming that they don’t charge pedestrians or anyone else from viewing the art, a picture published and distributed of a car, where the artwork is not the principle subject of the picture, does nothing to damage the artist, and should give them no rights under the publication. The artist should be happy that they are getting to more people, after all, the intent would be for others to enjoy their art and this serves them well. If the wall was blank, would the building owner, or the contractor who built the wall have publication rights? This is absurd. The artist should shut up and be happy with the exposure. There was never any intent to profit from the art, and they should have no distribution rights for anything they display in a public forum.

  12. Sorry, you exhibt Art in public an in plain view then you relinquish the right to choose who can see or use your work. The SUB in question in the picture shown is on a public street where it can be seen 24/7/365. It Mercedes being arrogant about it, I have little doubt about that.

  13. When the artist to put the artwork in public they kind of surrendered the rights to it at the same time Mercedes could have done the decent thing and credited the artist for the murals

  14. So, taking pictures on PUBLIC STREETS is not allowed according to these so called “artist”? If that’s the case they should have painted on canvas not building walls for public viewing!

  15. Mercedes should simply Photoshop the murals out of the pictures and carry on. The artists put their murals there for the world to see and ate getting free advertising in the Mercedes ads. Now almost two years later they want to sue. Nope, just take the originals down, issue an apology, Photoshop the murals out, and re-upload the pics. Done.

  16. Too bad. Ud the art is in public view. If ots the background of an image and not the focus, oh well. Maybe donreal art.

  17. Is being an asshole a Mercedes thing? Are you telling me they couldn’t just apologize and offer to pay the artists? What a set of pricks.

  18. If these art works are in a public area and are now in the internet then neither suit should carry weight of law they should cancel each other. The art being put out on the net for free by a popular company will bring notoriety to the artist at no cost. If there was a concern the art should be in a private space to avoid this .

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