Frazetta Fights Book Publisher For His (Copy)Rights

Popular fantasy painter Frank Frazetta is suing the publisher of Frazetta Definitive Reference for capitalizing without permission.
On Wednesday, July 16, famed fantasy artist Frank Frazetta filed a complaint with the New York Supreme Court against publisher J. David Spurlock and Vanguard Productions.

The complaint alleges that Spurlock and Vanguard failed to obtain Frazetta's approval before using his name, artwork and signature for advertising the book Frazetta Definitive Reference. If true, it is a misdemeanor violation of Section 50 of New York's Civil Rights Law, which guarantees the right of privacy.

Frazetta also accuses the defendants of knowingly stating "endorsed by the artist" on solicitation materials, despite the fact that no agreement exists, oral or written, between Spurlock or Vanguard and Frazetta.

Because he believes that the defendants have been "unjustly enriched by unlawful use of the plaintiff's name and reputation as an artist," Frazetta demands that they be restrained from using his name, image or likeness in promoting the book.

He also seeks compensatory damages of $2,000,000 and exemplary damages of $500,000, basing his request on Section 51 of the Civil Rights Law, which states that "any person whose name, portrait, picture or voice is used...for advertising purposes...without the written consent first obtained...may sue and recover damages for any injuries sustained by reason of such use."

Brooklyn native Frazetta illustrated comic books and comic strips in the 1950s before moving on to painting covers for magazines, record albums, movie posters and paperback books. He has been hailed by peers and fans as one of the most influential fantasy artists of the late 20th Century.
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