13 CV 64201

JS 44C/SDNY
REV. 5/2010

The JS-44 civil cover sheet and the information contained herein neither replace nor supplement the filing and service "fJjj^P 1 £ 7T] [3
pleadings or other papers as required by law, except as provided by local rules of court. This form, approved by the
Judicial Conference of the United States in September 1974, is required for use of the Clerk of Court for the purpose of

JUDGE OETKEN

CIVIL COVER SHEET

initiatingthe civildrfbket sheet.
PLAINTIFFS DEFENDANTS

LYLE OWERKO

SOUL TEMPLE ENTERTAINMENT, LLC; and LAMONT JODY HAWKINS, a/k/a U-GOD
ATTORNEYS (IF KNOWN)

ATTORNEYS (FIRM NAME, ADDRESS,AND TELEPHONE NUMBER

Nelson & McCulloch LLP, 155 East 56th Street, New York,
New York 10022 646-704-4900
(DO NOT CITE JURISDICTIONAL STATUTES UNLESS DIVERSITY)

CAUSE OF ACTION (cite the u.s. civil statute under which you are filing and write a brief statement of cause)

Copyright infringement, 17 U.S.C. §§101, etseq.
Hasthisora similar case been previously filed inSDNY at anytime? No? [7] Yes?• Judge Previously Assigned
& Case No.

If yes, was this case Vol.D Invol. D Dismissed. Nod Yes D
(PLACE AN [x] IN ONE BOX ONLY)

If yes, give date.

NATURE OF SUIT

ACTIONS UNDER STATUTES

TORTS PERSONAL INJURY CONTRACT PERSONAL INJURY

FORFEITURE/PENALTY

BANKRUPTCY

OTHER STATUTES

[ ]610 | ]620 1 1625

AGRICULTURE OTHER FOOD & DRUG DRUG RELATED SEIZURE OF PROPERTY
21 USC 881

[ ] 422 APPEAL
28 USC 158

[ ]400 STATE [ [ [ [ [ ]410 I 430 ]450 ]460 ]470
REAPPORTIONMENT ANTITRUST BANKS & BANKING COMMERCE DEPORTATION RACKETEER INFLU ENCED & CORRUPT

[ [ [ [

] 110 ] 120 ]130 ] 140

INSURANCE MARINE MILLER ACT NEGOTIABLE
INSTRUMENT

I 1310 AIRPLANE [ ]315 AIRPLANE PRODUCT
LIABILITY

[ ]362
[ ]365 [ ]368

[ ]320 ASSAULT, LIBEL &
SLANDER

PERSONAL INJURY MED MALPRACTICE PERSONAL INJURY PRODUCT LIABILITY ASBESTOS PERSONAL INJURY PRODUCT LIABILITY

[ ] 423 WITHDRAWAL
28 USC 157

PROPERTY RIGHTS

[ ]330

FEDERAL

[ ]150 RECOVERY OF
OVERPAYMENT & ENFORCEMENT OF
JUDGMENT

EMPLOYERS'
LIABILITY

[ ]340 [ ]345

MARINE MARINE PRODUCT LIABILITY

PERSONAL PROPERTY

[ [ [ [

]630 ]640 ]650 ]660

LIQUOR LAWS
RR & TRUCK AIRLINE REGS

K820 COPYRIGHTS
[ ]830 PATENT [ ] 840 TRADEMARK 11480 11490 1)810 ( ]850

ORGANIZATION ACT

(RICO)
CONSUMER CREDIT CABLE/SATELLITE TV SELECTIVE SERVICE SECURITIES/ COMMODITIES/ EXCHANGE

OCCUPATIONAL
SAFETY/HEALTH

[ ] 151 MEDICARE ACT [ ]1S2 RECOVERY OF
DEFAULTED STUDENT LOANS

[ ]350 MOTOR VEHICLE [ ]355 MOTOR VEHICLE [ ]360
PRODUCT LIABILITY OTHER PERSONAL INJURY

[ ]370 [ ]371 [ ]380 [ ]385

OTHER FRAUD TRUTH IN LENDING OTHER PERSONAL

[ ]690

OTHER SOCIAL SECURITY

PROPERTY DAMAGE
PROPERTY DAMAGE PRODUCT LIABILITY

LABOR

(EXCL VETERANS) [ ]153 RECOVERY OF
OVERPAYMENT OF VETERAN'S BENEFITS

1 I 710

I ]720 [ ]730

FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT LABOR/MGMT
RELATIONS LABOR/MGMT REPORTING & DISCLOSURE ACT

[ [ [ [ [

]861 ] 862 ] 863 ] 864 ] 865

HIA(1395ff) BLACK LUNG (923) DIWC/DIWW (405(g)) SSID TITLE XVI RSI (405(g))

[ I 875 CUSTOMER
CHALLENGE 12 USC 3410 [ ]890 OTHER STATUTORY ACTIONS [ ]891 AGRICULTURAL ACTS I 1892 ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ACT [ ]893 ENVIRONMENTAL
MATTERS

[ ] 160 STOCKHOLDERS SUITS I ) 190 OTHER CONTRACT [ ] 195 CONTRACT PRODUCT
LIABILITY

FEDERAL TAX SUITS

[ J196 FRANCHISE
ACTIONS UNDER STATUTES CIVIL RIGHTS REAL PROPERTY

[ ]740 [ ]790
PRISONER PETITIONS

RAILWAY LABOR ACT
OTHER LABOR LITIGATION EMPL RET INC

[ ]870 TAXES (U.S. Plaintiff or Defendant) [ ] 871 IRS-THIRD PARTY
26 USC 7609

1 1894 ENERGY
ALLOCATION ACT

[ ]791

SECURITY ACT

[ ]895 FREEDOM OF
INFORMATION ACT

[ ]210 LAND CONDEMNATION [ ] 220 FORECLOSURE [ ] 230 RENT LEASE &
EJECTMENT

[ ]441 VOTING []442 EMPLOYMENT [ I 443 HOUSING/
ACCOMMODATIONS

[ ]510

MOTIONS TO

VACATE SENTENCE
20 USC 2255

IMMIGRATION

[ ]900 APPEAL OF FEE
DETERMINATION UNDER EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF STATE STATUTES

[ ] 240 TORTS TO LAND [ ] 245 TORT PRODUCT
LIABILITY

[ ]444 WELFARE [ ]445 AMERICANS WITH
DISABILITIES EMPLOYMENT

[ ]530 HABEAS CORPUS I )462 [ ]535 DEATH PENALTY 11540 MANDAMUS & OTHER I M63 | ]S50 CIVIL RIGHTS | ]555 PRISON CONDITION 11465

NATURALIZATION
APPLICATION HABEAS CORPUSALIEN DETAINEE

[ ]950

OTHER IMMIGRATION ACTIONS

[ ] 290 ALLOTHER
REAL PROPERTY

( ]446

AMERICANS WITH

DISABILITIES -OTHER

[ ]440 OTHER CIVIL RIGHTS

Check if demanded in complaint:

CHECK IF THIS IS ACLASS ACTION
UNDER F.R.C.P. 23

DO YOU CLAIM THIS CASE IS RELATED TO A CIVIL CASE NOW PENDING IN S.D.N.Y.?

IF SO, STATE: OTHER JUDGE

DEMAND $_

NO

DOCKET NUMBER

Check YES only if demanded in complaint

JURY DEMAND: 0 YES •

NO

NOTE:

Please submit at the time of filing an explanation of why cases are deemed related.

(PLACEAN x IN ONE BOX ONLY)

ORIGIN

H 1 Original
Proceeding

I I 2a. Removed from
State Court

I I 3 Remanded from I I 4 Reinstated or
Appellate Court Reopened

LJ 5 Transferred from LJ 6 Multidistrict
(Specify District) Litigation

I I 7 Appeal to District
Judge from Magistrate Judge Judgment

I I 2b.Removed from
State Court AND at least one

party is pro se.

(PLACE AN x INONEBOXONLY)

BASIS OF JURISDICTION

IF DIVERSITY, INDICATE
CITIZENSHIP BELOW.

• 1 U.S. PLAINTIFF

• 2 U.S. DEFENDANT

0 3 FEDERAL QUESTION
(U.S. NOT A PARTY)

Q4 DIVERSITY

(28 USC 1322, 1441)

CITIZENSHIP OF PRINCIPAL PARTIES (FOR DIVERSITY CASES ONLY)
(Place an [X] in one box for Plaintiff and one box for Defendant)
PTF CITIZEN OF THIS STATE DEF PTF DEF

PTF

DEF

[11

[11

CITIZEN OR SUBJECT OF A FOREIGN COUNTRY

[13 []3

INCORPORATED and PRINCIPAL PLACE
OF BUSINESS IN ANOTHER STATE

[]5

[]5

CITIZEN OF ANOTHER STATE

[]2

[]2

INCORPORATED or PRINCIPAL PLACE
OF BUSINESS IN THIS STATE

[]4 |]4

FOREIGN NATION

[16

[ 16

PLAINTIFF(S) ADDRESS(ES) AND COUNTY(IES)

LYLE OWERKO 366 BROADWAY

NEW YORK, NY 10013

DEFENDANT(S) ADDRESS(ES) AND COUNTY(IES)

SOUL TEMPLE ENTERTAINMENT, LLC
3000 MARCUS AVE., SUITE 3W4 LAKE SUCCESS, NY 11042

DEFENDANT(S) ADDRESS UNKNOWN REPRESENTATION IS HEREBYMADE THAT, AT THIS TIME, I HAVE BEEN UNABLE, WITH REASONABLE DILIGENCE, TO ASCERTAIN THE
RESIDENCE ADDRESSES OF THE FOLLOWING DEFENDANTS:

LAMONT JODY HAWKINS

NEW YORK, NY

Checkone:

THIS ACTION SHOULD BE ASSIGNED TO:
(DO NOT check either box if this a PRISONER PETITION.)
SIGNATURE OF ATTORNEY OF RECORD

WHITE PLAINS

\7\ MANHATTAN

DATE9/12/13

ADMITTED TO PRACTICE IN THIS DISTRICT

RECEIPT #

A <0

[ ] NO
Attorney Bar Code #DN4940

Q6
Yr.

09

i(l YES (DATE ADMITTED Mo. _

Magistrate Judge is to be designated by the Clerk of the Court Magistrate Judge
Ruby J. Krajick, Clerk of Court by.

MAG, JUDGE EMS
is so Designated.

Deputy Clerk, DATED

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT (NEW YORK SOUTHERN)

JUDGE OETKEIV
Danial A. Nelson (DN4940) Kevin P. McCulloch (KM0530)
nelson & Mcculloch llp
155 East 56th Street

New York, New York 10022 T: (212)355-6050 F: (646) 308-1178

Counselfor Plaintiff

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

LYLE OWERKO,

Civil Action No.:
c
c/>
o

Plaintiff,
COMPLAINT AND o
-n

"^

_4 —

DEMAND FOR A JURYJRIAL
SOUL TEMPLE ENTERTAINMENT, LLC; and LAMONT JODY HAWKINS, a/k/a U-GOD;

•x>r
-HO
o o c

en

Defendants.

Plaintiff Lyle Owerko ("Owerko" or "Plaintiff), by and through undersigned counsel,
pursuant to the applicable Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of this Court,

demands a trial by jury of all claims and issues so triable, and for his Complaint against
Defendants Soul Temple Entertainment, LLC ("Soul Temple") and Lamont Jody Hawkins, a/k/a

U-God ("Hawkins") (collectively referred to herein as "Defendants"), hereby asserts and alleges
as follows:

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

1 • Plaintiff is aresident of the State of New York who resides at 366 Broadway,
New York, New York 10013.

2. Plaintiff is the registered copyright owner of the creative photographic works identified herein and tha, are the subject ofthis action (the "Subject Photographs"). 3. Defendant Soul Temple is aNew York coloration with its principle place of
business a, 3000 Marcus Ave, Suite 3 W4, Lake Success, New York, 11042.

4- Defendant Hawkins is amusicai artist and amember ofthe hip-hop collective the Wu-Tang Clan. Upon information and beiief, Defendant Hawkins is aresident of New York
City.

5- This is an action for copyright infringement and related claims brought by Plaintiff, the holder of copyrights in the Subject Photographs, again, Defendants for unauthorized uses ofthe Subject Photographs in conjunction with the cover artwork, packaging advertising, and other promotional material for the musical album n. Keynole Speaker wi
other unauthorized uses ofthe Subject Photographs.

6.

Jurisdiction for Plaintiffs c,aims lies with ,he Unj,ed ^ ^.^ ^ ^ ^

Southern District ofNew York pursuant ,„ the Copyright Act of ,976, 17 U.S.C. §§ ,01, elseq.,
28 U.S.C. §,331 (conferring original jurisdiction "of all civil actions arising under the

Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States"), and 28 U.S.C. , 1338(a) (conferring originaljurisdiction over claims arising underany ac, ofCongress relating to copyrights).
7- Venue is proper in this Court under 28 U.S.C. « ,39,(b) since aportion ofthe a„eged misconduct by Defendants giving rise to the Cairns asserted herein occutred in this District and 28 U.S.C. , 1400(a) since Defendants reside or may be found in this District

Further, Defendants conduct substantial business in the State of New York, including
advertising, promoting, selling, and distributing the infringing album in New York, and they are

therefore subject to jurisdiction in the State of New York. Defendants also have infringed
Plaintiffs copyrights in the State of New York as described herein.
GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

8.

Plaintiff is a professional photographer who makes his living by taking and

licensing photographs.

9.

Among other works and collections, Plaintiff is known for his stylized and highly

recognizable photographs of boomboxes that he included as part of his book titled The Boombox Project: the machines, the music, and the urban underground (ISBN 978-0810982758). 10. Plaintiff created the photographs that are featured in The Boombox Project,

including the Subject Photographs at issue here, and owns all copyrights in these images.
11. Attached hereto as Exhibits 1 and 2 are true and correct copies of the Subject

Photographs that Defendants used without permission.
12. For ease of reference, the photograph attached hereto as Exhibit 1 is identified

herein as "Clairtone Boombox" and the photograph attached hereto as Exhibit 2 is identified
herein as "Helix Boombox."

Exhibit 1: "Clairtone Boombox"

Exhibit 2: "Helix Boombox"

13.

Defendant Soul Temple is a record label founded by Wu-Tang Clan member the

Robert Fitzgerald Diggs (a/k/athe "RZA").

14.

Upon information and belief, Defendant Soul Temple created the album artwork

and related promotional materials for The Keynote Speaker which incorporated Plaintiffs
Clairnote Boombox photograph without Plaintiffs permission.
15.
Exhibit 3.

A true and correct copy of the infringing album artwork is attached hereto as

Jtsai

Exhibit 3: The Keynote Speaker album cover

16.

Defendant Soul Temple also infringed Plaintiffs copyrights in his Helix

Boombox by incorporating a copy of Plaintiffs photo on the front of a tee shirt that it offers for
sale through its website.

17.

A true and correct copy of the infringing tee shirt is attached hereto as Exhibit 4.

/AME
^""T^

Exhibit 4

Because information regarding Defendants' uses of Plaintiffs photographs

remains in Defendants' possession, the full and complete scope of Defendants' infringing uses of
Plaintiffs creative works has not yet been fully ascertained.

19.

Upon information and belief, a reasonable opportunity for further investigation

and discovery will yield evidence that Defendants' unauthorized, unlicensed, and infringing use and exploitation of Plaintiffs copyrighted works is not limited to the Subject Photographs and is
not limited to the infringements identified herein.

20.

Defendants, by their willful, knowing, and/or reckless actions, injured Plaintiff by

engaging in the unlicensed, unauthorized, and uncompensated use of Plaintiffs creative work

and, as such, deprived Plaintiff of his control over, and rightful compensation for the use of his
creative work.
COUNT I

(COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT)

21.

Plaintiff repeats and re-alleges each allegation set forth in the paragraphs above as

if set forth fully herein.

22.

Plaintiff has registered his copyrights in the Subject Photographs with the United

States Copyright Office.

23.

Plaintiff registered his copyrights in the Subject Photographs with the United

States Copyright Office priorto the infringements at issue.

24.

As alleged herein, Defendants used, published, distributed, and/or exploited

Plaintiffs photographs identified herein as the "Clairnote Boombox" and "Helix Boombox"
without permission or authorization to do so.

25.

Defendants have and continue to financially benefit from the uncompensated use

of Plaintiffs creative work.

26.

Defendants' unlicensed, unauthorized, and uncompensated use of Plaintiffs

creative works injured Plaintiff, including by depriving Plaintiff of his rightful compensation for the use of his creative work and infringing his exclusive rights to control the reproduction, use,
distribution, and sale of his creative work.

27.

Defendants misappropriated Plaintiffs intellectual property for their own profit,

causing Plaintiff significant injuries, damages, and losses in amounts to be determined at trial.

28.
were willful.

Defendants' unauthorized and uncompensated uses of the Subject Photographs

29.

As parties with experience in copyright and intellectual property matters,

Defendants are or should have been aware that they could not use photographs without a license
that they know that they did not own.

30.

Defendants' conduct alleged herein demonstrates reckless disregard for Plaintiffs

exclusive rights as the owner ofthe copyrights in the Subject Photographs.
31. Given the notoriety and public recognition of the Defendants and their works and

products, Defendants' misappropriation of Plaintiffs photographs caused significant damages, including by diminishing the value of his works as fine art prints and impeding his ability to
license his works to other music artists.

32.

Plaintiff seeks all damages recoverable under the Copyright Act, including

statutory or actual damages, including Defendants' profits attributable to the infringing uses of

Plaintiffs creative work, and the damages suffered as a result ofthe lack ofcompensation, credit,

and attribution. Plaintiff also seeks all attorneys' fees and any other costs incurred in pursuing
and litigating this matter.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff respectfully prays for judgment on his behalf and for the following
relief:

1.

A preliminary and permanent injunction against Defendants from copying,

displaying, distributing, advertising, promoting, and/or selling the infringing materials identified

herein, and requiring Defendants to deliver to the Court for destruction or other appropriate

disposition all relevant materials, including digital files of Plaintiffs photographs and all copies of the infringing materials described in this complaint that are in the control or possession or
custody of Defendants;

2.

All allowable damages under the Copyright Act, including, but not limited to,

statutory or actual damages, including damages incurred as a result of Plaintiffs loss of licensing revenue, damage to the value of the copyrighted works, and Defendants' profits attributable to
the infringements, and damages suffered as a result of the lack of credit and attribution; 3. Plaintiffs full costs, including litigation expenses, expert witness fees, interest,

and any other amounts authorized under law, and attorneys' fees incurred in pursuing and
litigating this matter;

4.

All allowable damages caused by and/or resulting from Defendants' violation and

infringement of Plaintiffs moral rights in andto this creative visual work;

5.
and

Any other relief authorized by law, including punitive and/or exemplary damages;

Forsuch other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper.

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED

Dated September 12, 2013
New York, New York.

Respectfully submitted,
nelson & Mcculloch l l p

By:

A^
Danial A. Nelson (DN4940) Kevin P. McCulloch (KM0530)
155 East 56th Street

New York, New York 10022

T: (212)355-6050 F:(646) 308-1178

dnelson@nelsonmcculloch.com kmcculIoch@nelsonmcculloch.com
Attorneysfor Plaintiff