Music group Fall Out Boy has been sued for using some life-sized llama puppets beyond the scope of an agreement with a puppet company.
Furry Puppet Inc has filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court against Fall Out Boy, saying the band did not have permission to use the puppets it created for it outside of its 2017 video for its song "Young and Menace."
Fall Out Boy allegedly used the llama puppets in the music videos of "The Last Of The Real Ones", "Hold Me Tight Or Don’t", "Wilson (Expensive Mistakes)" and "Bishops Knife Trick".
Besides appearing in the music videos, the band also used the puppets to market their tour. The puppets performed on stage on the band's recent tour, the MANIA tour. And they even had an entire album named and centred around them, called "Llamania".
Furry Puppet said in a statement to Billboard: "Fall Out Boy abused the llama puppets and made millions of dollars off the unauthorized use."
The company said Fall Out Boy claimed to be the joint authors or creators of the llama puppets in 2017. But it said that is not true since it claims to be the copyright owner of the llama puppets.
"Many people may not realize that even when a physical work of art is sold, ownership of the copyrights remain with the creator unless a written contract is signed. The band was only authorized to use the puppets in connection with the Young and Menace music video. The band then, without credit or further compensation, used Furry Puppet Studio’s copyrights to create and sell merchandise, an album, an iPhone app, perform on tour, appear in other music videos, and become the face of the band. The llamas are a bona fide social media phenomenon with over half a billion views of GIFs created by Fall Out Boy."
"In other words, the infringement was not just in marketing materials. The band infringed Furry Puppet Studio’s copyrights on a massive basis and deliberately cut them out of sharing in the credit and compensation."
We are not sure the terms of agreement between the band and the puppet makers, as Fall Out Boy has claimed they were co-creators of the puppets, citing they gave input during the creation process.
But Furry Puppet said although other artists’ monster concepts had been submitted to it for consideration, the ideas weren’t used, and furthermore, "ideas are not even copyrightable expression which could give rise to joint authorship."
Do you think Furry Puppet has a case against Fall Out Boy? You can read more about the lawsuit here - it contains a lot of photos of Fall Out Boy using the llama puppets in drumming up publicity for their tour. Comment below or at our Facebook page.