A photographer is suing Weapons ‘N’ Roses and their administration for copyright infringement and sexual harassment allegedly perpetrated by the band’s supervisor Fernando Lebeis.
Katarina Benzova filed a lawsuit on Saturday (November 11) which states that she labored on a contract foundation for Weapons ‘N’ Roses between 2010 and 2022 throughout 364 concert events.
Weapons N’ Roses, Gundam LLC (the band’s enterprise and holding firm), Crew Brazil and Lebeis are listed because the defendants within the case.
The go well with claims that the band and their group dedicated copyright infringement on Benzova’s photographs “through the reproduction, public display, distribution, creation of derivative works, and holding out of Benzova’s photographs for licenses and sale to third party publications after termination of any right to do so,” and altered numerous images to be able to cowl infringement and falsely declare possession of them.
Benzova additionally alleges within the go well with that Lebeis had made undesirable sexual advances in the direction of her on quite a few events since he started managing Weapons ‘N’ Roses in 2016. The go well with claims Lebeis grew to become aggressive and hostile when Benzova repeatedly rejected him, and it even escalated to “name-calling, ridicule, demeaning remarks, humiliation, bullying, and lying.”
As well as, Benzova alleges that Lebeis finally lowered her charge with out notifying her, withheld funds from her, moved her to cheaper lodges throughout journey, demanded she pay out of pocket for journey bills that Crew Brazil promised to cowl and refused to credit score her for her photographs.
Moreover, she claims that her efforts to make use of written contracts with the band have been ignored. Lebeis allegedly minimize ties along with her in October 2022 citing numerous causes together with “budgetary concerns.” Benzova believes that Lebeis discriminated towards her as a result of she rejected his alleged sexual advances, and claims one other photographer for the band, Jarmo, wasn’t handled in the identical method as she was.
Weapons ‘N’ Roses issued an announcement in response to Loudwire. “Ms. Benzova was initially contracted to provide tour photography services for Guns N’ Roses in 2010. She worked with the band for 12 years and was paid and treated extraordinarily well,” they mentioned. “It was solely after her companies have been discontinued in 2022 that she tried to assert possession in photographs which her contract clearly states are owned by the band.
“The band takes these types of claims very seriously however all evidence establishes these accusations are categorically and unequivocally false. This response from her comes after the band initiated suit against Ms. Benzova for falsely asserting ownership in the photos of the band.”
Loudwire was additionally supplied with a replica of the band’s personal lawsuit, which was filed on October 24 and claims copyright invalidity, non-ownership and non-infringement, significantly stating that Benzova had “falsely alleged copyright infringement against various persons and entities” in March 2023.
Their go well with alleges that Benzova had agreed when she was first employed in 2010 that Waterhead Worldwide, Inc., which manages Weapons N’ Roses’ excursions along with Gundam LLC, could be the unique proprietor of all of Benzova’s works on behalf of the band.
The lawsuit additional states that Benzova entered a “Crew Member Employment Memorandum” with Gundam in 2016, which learn, ““You [i.e., Benzova] acknowledge and agree that the results and proceeds of your services rendered during the Term will be on a ‘work-for-hire’ basis. We [i.e., Gundam Productions] shall own the copyrights and all intellectual property rights to all of the video and photographs created by you during the term of your employment. In addition, we [i.e., Gundam Productions] shall have the right, but not the obligation to use your name, likeness, voice and biographical material in connection with the results and proceeds of your services hereunder.”
Lebeis has not but responded to the allegations.