Yet the court
shenanigans continue. Can’t we all just get along?
By Fred Mills
Rock ‘n’ roll would be a far, far duller milieu were it not
for lawyers, as was evidenced last year when Vampire Weekend got sued over the
photo gracing the cover of their Contra album.
The young lady on the sleeve, Ann Kirsten Kennis, appeared courtesy a 1983 modeling
photo, and the 2010-era Kennis maintained that she had never authorized the
reproduction of her image; photographer Tod Brody had licensed the photo to the
band, claiming Kennis had signed a release form. That claim, however, was
disputed by Kennis, who told reporters, of her decision to file a $2 million
suit against Vampire Weekend and XL Recordings, “It felt like someone was
exploiting me. Who do these people think they are that they can just take my
picture from god only knows where and plaster it everywhere?”
So we learn today from Pitchfork that Kennis has settled
with the band and the label “for an undisclosed amount” and the case was dismissed
on August 11 by the federal court in Los
Angeles. In addition, Photo District Online reports that Brody received $5000 from Vampire Weekend for the image, but as it is
likely that Brody used a forged signature on the model release form,”it is
unclear who shot the image, or how Brody obtained it.”
This is good, because we are fookin’ sick of seeing that damn record sleeve every few weeks anyway.
Interestingly, though, the story’s not done yet. VW and XL
had also filed a counter-claim against Brody, saying that he holds the
liability in this case, and since the court did not dismiss the counter-claim, Brody now has the task of defending
himself: his lawyers quit after he failed to pay them the bills he’d
accumulated to date.