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Mural court case Swiss graffiti artist sues GM for copyright infringement

The mural, called Z garage, and a Cadillac XT5

The mural, called Z garage, and a Cadillac XT5


Adrian Falkner, who works under the pseudonym SMASH 137, is suing the US car manufacturer General Motors (GM) for using one of his works for advertising purposes without his consent. He is demanded financial compensation. 

In a suitexternal link filed on January 22 in a district court in California, Falknerexternal link claims GM used his mural as a focal point in a campaign for Cadillac, called “The Art of the Drive”, in an attempt to attract customers who seek “an association with urban cool”, according to a reportexternal link in Automotive News. 

“That the mural is the centerpiece of the campaign is obvious – in that it is the only creative element dressing the car,” the suit states, referring to Falkner as an “acclaimed contemporary artist [who] has exhibited in museums and galleries around the world and is well known for his large-scale outdoor paintings”. 

The mural in question, painted in 2014, was designed to showcase the artwork of a project called “Z Garage” in Detroit.

Automotive News said a Cadillac spokesperson had declined to comment, citing a company policy against commenting on pending litigation. Falkner did not return a request from Automotive News for comment.

Automotive News/ts

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