Artist Michel Leah Keck is suing FX Networks for supposedly using three of her artworks without permission on its animated series Archer. Keck’s suit names FX and Twentieth Century Fox claims copyright infringement, maintaining that her paintings appear in the office of Malory Archer at the fictional spy agency ISIS –International Secret Intelligence Service. Dominic Pagone, FX Networks senior vice president told Artnet:
“We do not have any comment at this time regarding Archer and the lawsuit.”
Keck’s suit claims that three of her works —Sink or Swim, The Best Is Yet to Come, and I Don’t Want to Hear It —are used on office walls in the show. According to Keck’s website, she works in a wide variety of mediums at prices ranging up to $15,000. The lawsuit asserts:
“FX Networks and Fox Home Entertainment operate sophisticated media production and distribution businesses with trained staff and an excellent working knowledge of copyright law principles and rights-clearance practices. Inexplicably, defendants used the works as part of Archer without even seeking the necessary permission to do so.”
Keck is seeking $30,000 per infringement, or up to $150,000 per infringement if the infringement is found to be intentional. Being an artist, I’m all for artist’s rights. A friend tagged me on Facebook just yesterday pointing out someone who had clearly imitated my work, using a specific technique I created, so I know the feeling. And no offense to Michel but there are thousands of artists that are painting in this same abstract style (you’ve seen them in hotels all over, I’m sure.) So, if Archer’s animators DID copy her work, it was pretty lazy. They don’t have a artist friend they could feature, WITH permission? But if I saw MY work on TV and could prove I was copied, I'd sure try too. Plus, all this attention, for any artist, can't hurt.
(Images, Fx, Michel Keck: via Artnet)