British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor says that Kendrick Lamar's video for "All the Stars," off the Black Panther soundtrack, stole the visuals from her series of paintings Constellation.
A lawyer for the artist sent a letter to Top Dawg Entertainment this weekend alleging the copyright violation of her work. According to Viktor's lawyer, "the artist had been contacted twice by the film’s creators for permission to feature her work, the letter says, but she decided not to participate," the New York Times reports.
“Why would they do this? It’s an ethical issue, because what the whole film purports is that it’s about black empowerment, African excellence - that’s the whole concept of the story. And at the same time they’re stealing from African artists," Viktor told the New York Times.
The producers of the video declined the Times' request for comment.
The letter claims that at the 2:59 mark of the video, there's a 19-second segment “that incorporates not just the immediately-identifiable and unique look of her work, but also many of the specific copyrightable elements in the Constellations series of paintings, including stylized motifs of mythical animals, gilded geometric forms on a black background, and distinctively textured areas and patterns, arrayed in a grid-like arrangement of forms.”
According to the letter, the artist is willing “to discuss a resolution of all her claims, consisting at a minimum of a public apology for the unauthorized use and a license fee.”
See a side by side of Viktor's artwork on the left and Lamar's video on the right: