Wu-Tang Clan Album Cover Artist Sues Shkreli

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on February 09, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Martin Shkreli, the young drug company executive who came under fire for price hikes last year and for calling Congress imbeciles on Twitter last week, just got sued for allowing images on the cover of the Wu-Tang Clan's album, "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" to be used by Vice.

There is only one copy of the album in existence, and Shkreli owns it. Already reviled nationwide for his drug price hikes, Shkreli found no fans when he announced that he would not listen to the album that cost him $2 million but bought it to keep it from the people. Now the illustrator whose art was used on the cover is suing Shkreli and others for the same amount, saying he did not give permission for his fan art to be used in that context, according to Reuters.

Fan Artist Miffed

Jason Koza, 34, sued Robert Diggs, better known as the RZA, for the cover art, and Shkreli who allowed several unauthorized images to accompany an article about him in Vice last month. Koza is a Wu-Tang Clan fan and was happy to have his fan art used on the band's website. He gave permission for that.

But he did not give the band permission to place his art on the cover of the novelty album, nor did he say Shkreli could let Vice publish his images. "Mr. Koza was happy when his work appeared on the website," according to his complaint. "Mr. Koza never granted a license for his works to be copied or displayed anywhere (else)."

Other defendants include Paddle8, which auctioned the album, and producer Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh. None of the defendants or their attorneys responded to requests for comment.

Wu Feuds With Shkreli Too

The Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah, meanwhile, is in a feud of his own with Shkreli. Last month the drug company executive issued a video demand that Ghostface apologize for insulting him and today, CNBC reports, the rapper fired back with a video on YouTube entitled, "Ghostface Killah KILLS Martin Shkreli (Verbally, Politically, and Emotionally)."

The video features Ghostface and a crew of women demanding that Shkreli lower the price of his anti-parasite drug Daraprim. But Shkreli cannot be made to feel contrite or to back down from any challenge. He tweeted at Ghostface Killah that the format of his apology was unacceptable.

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