Kat Von D was all smiles after leaving a Los Angeles courthouse on Friday, after winning her copyright case over a famous Miles Davis photograph.
The 41-year-old tattoo artist (born Katherine von Drachenberg) was spotted leaving the courthouse with her father, Rene Drachenberg.
The jury deliberated for just over two hours before deciding that Von D’s tattoo based on Jeffrey Sedlik’s famous 1989 portrait of Miles Davis did not violate the photographer’s copyright.
Von D – who recently embraced Christianity – was spotted leaving the courthouse in a form-fitting black top tucked into a ruffled black skirt that fell to her calves.
She also stepped out in black leggings while accessorizing with stylish black sunglasses and a large black leather purse.
Kat Von D was all smiles after leaving a Los Angeles courthouse on Friday, after winning her copyright case over a famous Miles Davis photograph
Kat was also spotted carrying a black coat, while walking down the street with her father after the verdict was read.
The tattoo artist’s win could be a landmark victory for tattoo artists everywhere, after the jury found that the ink was not similar enough to Sedlik’s copyrighted portrait.
Von D used the portrait as the basis for a tattoo that she put on the arm of a friend over seven years ago as a gift, though Sedlik sued, saying she needed his permission before doing so.
They also ruled that her drawings, social media posts about the tattoo did not violate the photographer’s copyright either, stating they all fall under fair use.
‘I’m obviously very happy for this to be over. It’s been two years of a nightmare worrying about this, not just for myself but for my fellow tattoo artists,’ she said after the verdict.
Her attorney, Allen B. Grodsky, added after the verdict, ‘We’ve said all along that this case never should have been brought. The jury recognized that this was just ridiculous.’
Sedlik’s attorney Robert Edward Allen said they plan to appeal the verdict, adding he couldn’t comprehend how the jury reached the verdict.
‘If those two things are not substantially similar, then no one’s art is safe,’ Allen said in a statement.
He argued during closing arguments that the lawsuit wasn’t about tattoos but about ‘copying others’ protected works,’ including his client’s photo that was first published on the cover of JAZZIZ magazine in 1989, which he copyrighted in 1994.
The 41-year-old tattoo artist (born Katherine von Drachenberg) was spotted leaving the courthouse with her father, Rene Drachenberg
The lawyer argued that Sedlik licensed the image to others throughout the years, including other tattoo artists, and that was a big part of his income.
Von D argued during the trial that she considers tattoos as a form of ‘fan art,’ adding, ‘I made zero money off it. I’m not mass-producing anything. I think there is a big difference.’
Still, Von D – who rose to fame through TV shows such as Miami Ink and L.A. Ink, said she may not tattoo anyone ever again because of this.
‘I think I don’t want to ever tattoo again, my heart has been crushed through this in different ways. We’ll see with time,’ she said after the verdict.