Los Angeles, CA. Nixon Peabody LLP is pleased to announce the successful resolution of the Estate of the Notorious B.I.G.’s long-running trademark and right of publicity dispute with late hip hop photographer Chi Modu.
The estate initially sued Modu and others over the use of various photos of Christopher Wallace p/k/a Notorious B.I.G. on snowboards. In addition to snowboards, Modu had used images of the Notorious B.I.G. on skateboards, shower curtains, and NFTs without the estate’s permission, claiming it was not needed since he took the photographs.
Arguing that Modu’s actions were improper and in violation of the law, in May 2022, the court agreed and the estate won a preliminary injunction stopping Modu’s widow, Sophia Modu, from selling merchandise with her late husband’s photos of the rapper, claiming it violates the estate’s right to publicity in Wallace’s image.
Barring the “courthouse steps” settlement, the trial was set to begin this month. Terms of the settlement agreement will remain confidential.