Jay-Z and his former Roc-A-Fella partners are being sued by a clothing designer from New York City over unpaid royalties of designing the record label's logo back in 1995. The logo in question is that of an "R" with a bottle of champagne and a record in the background.
The New York Post reported that Dwayne Walker, the clothing designer who filed the suit, alleged that the rapper and his former partners Damon "Dame" Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke agreed to pay him $3,500 for the logo and 2 percent royalties from all products with the logo until 2015. The royalties have now added up to at least $7 million, according to the lawsuit.
"The logo has become universally recognized as an iconic symbol of Jay-Z, one of the most successful recording artists in the history of popular music," the suit states as reported by the Daily News.
Walker is claiming copyright infringement, but with no details of what the actual agreement between Roc-A-Fella and Walker was, there is no way to tell how the case will go. In most cases, the copyrights of artistic work such as a logo design is held by the creator and he reserves the right to reproduce, redistribute, and license it to others. However, if the artist works as an independent contractor, the company may or may not own the logo, depending on the agreement between the parties.
Roc-A-Fella was founded as way to release Jay-Z's debut album, "Reasonable Doubt." It is now owned by Universal Music Group.