Nirvana File To Dismiss Nevermind Baby’s Amended Lawsuit, Deny Designer’s Claim Of Creating Smiley Face Logo

Nirvana File To Dismiss Nevermind Baby’s Amended Lawsuit, Deny Designer’s Claim Of Creating Smiley Face Logo

The former Nevermind baby is still trying. When he was four months old, Spencer Elden posed on the cover of Nirvana’s iconic 1991 album. Last year, Elden sued Nirvana’s surviving members, Universal Music Group, the David Geffen Company, photographer Kurt Weddle, and Kurt Cobain’s widow and estate executor Courtney Love. Elden’s lawyers argued that the album cover was child pornography. Last month, after Elden’s lawyers missed a deadline to respond to a motion for dismissal, a California federal judge dismissed Elden’s lawsuit. Elden’s lawyers promptly refiled an amended lawsuit, and now Nirvana’s lawyers are once again motioning for the lawsuit to be dismissed.

Rolling Stone has a report on the new filing, in which Nirvana’s lawyers argue that Elden hasn’t been able to identify any new victimization since the last lawsuit: “The time has run. Elden’s decision to not sue these defendants for the past 30 years, despite his decades-long knowledge of their same and unvaried conduct, is dispositive of his claim. It is as simple as that… For Elden, this is strike three. This case must end.”

Meanwhile, Nirvana’s iconography is facing other challenges. When Elden first filed that lawsuit, one of the defendants was Robert Fisher, a graphic artist who worked at DGC/Geffen Records when Nirvana were an active band on the label. In the latest version of his lawsuit, Elden has dropped Fisher as a defendant. Now, as American Songwriter reports, Fisher claims that he was really the creator of the famous Nirvana cross-eyed smiley-face design, which has appeared on Nirvana T-shirts since 1992.

Nirvana owns the trademark to that design, which is widely credited to Kurt Cobain. When the clothing designer Marc Jacobs used the smiley face in 2018, Nirvana sued. But now Fisher says that he came up with the design, at the band’s request, in 1991. A statement from Fisher’s lawyer says that Fisher owns an interest in the logo’s copyright because of an “implied license” and that the band had been “misattributing the illustration to Kurt Cobain.” In their own statement, Nirvana’s lawyers reply, “In the 30 years since the design’s creation and Nirvana’s exploitation of it, Fisher never claimed any interest in it.”

And in further Nirvana news, the photographer Faith West is currently facing backlash for converting a previously unpublished 1991 Nirvana live photo into an NFT for sale. The NFTs are being made available, for prices ranging from $99 to $250,000 to coincide with Kurt Cobain’s February 20 birthday. West is selling the NFTs through a company called Pop Legendz, and as Loudwire reports, she’s addressed angry fans through the Pop Legendz Twitter account. West writes, “Hey, I get why you are suspicious of my project. I’m also a Nirvana fan, and I’m respectful of you and all fans defending Kurt’s memory. There’s been a lot to hate about the way he’s been ‘remembered’ since his death My project is a little different, so I hope you’ll hear me out… After I take some $ to make up for salary I’ve lost during COVID I’m giving the rest to The Trevor Project for suicidal LGBTQ youth & Grid Alternatives to get solar to working poor families.”

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