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TATS Bronx Mural Copyrights

Die TATS Crew will die Agentur verklagen, welche für den neuesten FIAT 500 Werbeclip mit Jennifer Lopez verantwortlich ist. „Group says TV spot features mural without permission“. Der Clip wurde teilweise in der Bronx gedreht und zeigt unter anderem das TATS „Bronx“ Mural an der Whitlock Avenue. Das berichtet die Rolling Stone in einem Bericht vom 29.11.2011. Den Clip und die News nach dem Jump, wir sind gespannt wie das ausgeht

A television commercial for Fiat starring Jennifer Lopez has triggered a copyright dispute involving a Bronx-based graffiti crew whose work is featured prominently in the ad.

The commercial, titled „My World,“ features Lopez and a series of images intended to evoke the Bronx borough of New York, where she grew up, including a break dancer, a man drumming on an overturned pail and a colorful mural that reads „I Heart the Bronx.“ The muralists, TATS Cru, say the image is copyrighted and was used without permission.

„That’s enough,“ crew member Wilfredo Feliciano told the New York Times. „This has happened to us in the past, and it’s not cool. We had to do something about it.“ Stacey Richman, the graffiti artists‘ lawyer, said that the advertising agency and Chrysler, a subsidiary of the Fiat group, have yet to respond. (Rolling Stone)

Jennifer Lopez’s recent “My World” television spot for Fiat is proving to be about as unlucky as Sherman McCoy’s South Bronx detour in “Bonfire of the Vanities.”

Both featured glamorous women from humble roots. Both were set in Mott Haven. And as Ed Morales and then The Smoking Gun have reported, both are works of fiction; Jenny was nowhere near the block, but on a Los Angeles soundstage.

And that is where the latest problem begins.

To get that Bronx flavor that so inspired Ms. Lopez “to be tougher…to stay sharper…to think faster,” the spot’s producer stitched in a series of details intended to evoke the South Bronx — a break dancer, a guy drumming on a pail and a stunningly colored graffiti mural, the words “I ❤ the Bronx” clearly visible as the camera pans past the wall. But Fiat and its ad agency, Doner, may have missed one neighborhood detail that could lead to legal action: the copyright symbol on the lower right corner of the mural.

“We didn’t know anything about it, and we didn’t give permission,” said Wilfredo Feliciano, a member of TATS Cru, the Bronx-based aerosol artists who painted the murals last year for a community effort to brighten a dreary and crime-ridden strip in Hunts Point. “That’s enough. This has happened to us in the past, and it’s not cool. We had to do something about it.”

Over the course of three decades, the members of the graffiti crew have moved on from illicitly tagging trains to receiving commissions, and compensation, from galleries, companies and municipalities around the world. They have done promotional campaigns for corporate clients like Coca-Cola, Reebok, Nike, Pepsi, Sony and Ford. They even have a lawyer, who has been enlisted in the past to prevent unauthorized use of their designs.

Stacey Richman, their lawyer, said in a telephone interview that the Bronx mural was central to the concept in the commercial, which was created by Doner. She said that neither the agency nor Chrysler, the Fiat Group subsidiary, have responded to a letter she sent requesting an explanation as well as payment.

“Without this mural, it’s Anywhere City, USA,” said Ms. Richman, the daughter of the defense lawyer Murray Richman. The mural, she said, “set the stage” for viewers who may not be familiar with the Bronx. “It is so central to the Lopez brand, too, that it is so offensive no one bothered to see if they were stealing anything from actual professional artists.”

Doner did not reply to an e-mail or two voice messages left with a spokeswoman.

Gualberto Ranieri, a spokesman for Chrysler, said in an e-mail it was “standard operating procedure” to secure rights for any images used in their advertising. In this case, he said, they were still investigating.

He also defended the ad’s tone, citing its popularity on YouTube and Facebook. “The commercial featuring Jennifer Lopez tells the story of how the simple elements of our upbringing can help explain who we are, where we’re going and serve as a source of inspiration to achieve our goals in life,” he said, quoting the text from Fiat’s YouTube ad post.

In the case of Ms. Lopez, the South Bronx wasn’t quite where she was going. Although much of the commercial was shot on East 136th Street in Mott Haven, deep in the South Bronx, Ms. Lopez grew up a bit north and to the east, in the Castle Hill neighborhood. She did pass through the South Bronx frequently, taking the IRT local, now known as the 6 train, as she pursued her dreams in Manhattan. In fact, as a homage, she titled her debut album, “On the 6.”

That was prescient: the Bronx mural featured in the ad is on Whitlock Avenue, right under the elevated stop for the 6. (NY Times)

Posted: 30. November 2011