Batman-turned-artist faces copyright lawsuit

What’s left to do once you’ve played screen legends like Batman and ‘Top Gun’s’ Iceman? Become an artist of course. At least that’s what Val Kilmer is up to and he’s managed to attract a copyright lawsuit along the way.

Kilmer is being sued by artist Bale Creek Allen for allegedly copying Allen’s gold tumbleweed sculptures. It all began when Allen discovered Kilmer offering a tumbleweed sculpture dipped in 22k gold for sale on his Facebook account in 2016. Kilmer posted a photo of himself in front of the sculpture captioned with: “it’s on display for an astronomical price… the darn thing costs a pretty penny to make”.

Allen is said to have been selling his own gold coloured tumbleweed sculptures in galleries in Texas and New Mexico for years. He even claims Kilmer once contacted him about buying one of his sculptures but never closed the sale because he said they were out of his price range.

When Allen tried to approach Kilmer to demand he stop selling his alleged knock-off, Allen never received a response. He is suing Kilmer for unspecified damages for breach of copyright and seeking a court order to prohibit Kilmer from selling any works that infringe his copyright.

Kilmer denies the “sham claims” outright. He argues that Allen’s work lack the “requisite originality for copyright protection”. Moreover, Kilmer’s lawyers claim the suit is a misuse of copyright law, anticompetitive, contrary to public policy and tantamount to harassment.

Kilmer is calling for the case to be thrown out and for Allen to pay his legal fees.

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