Vampire Weekend Sued for More Than $2 Million Over 'Contra' Cover Art

Vampire Weekend Sued for More Than $2 Million Over 'Contra' Cover Art

The 'Contra' cover girl Ann Kirsten Kennis claims the Ezra Koenig-fronted band obtained a 'photographic release' of her picture which contains forged signature and they didn't bother to verify it.
A cover girl appearing on the front page of Vampire Weekend's latest album "Contra" files lawsuit against the band, alleging them using her image without her consent. The woman named Ann Kirsten Kennis filed the legal paper at Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, July 14.

In addition to naming Vampire Weekend, Kennis also mentions photographer Tod Brody on the document. She believes the band obtained a "photographic release" from Brody and claims it contains her forged signature. She blames the band for not bothering to verify the legitimacy of the release.

Kennis had the vintage photo, featuring her wearing a yellow Polo shirt, taken back in 1983 when she worked as "a high-fashion model under contract with prestigious agencies in New York City." She had no idea it was featured on the cover of "Contra" until the band came out promoting it in November 2009.

Now, she is seeking more than $2 million in damages for this alleged misappropriation of identity. She argues that "the album design, in which the Photograph is featured prominently, was a substantial factor in generating recognition and buzz for the Contra album, thus increasing sales and profits."

Back in October last year, bassist Chris Baio admitted they haven't met the cover girl and didn't know who she is when asked by MTV. Frontman Ezra Koenig additionally explained what makes the picture of the girl interesting to them, "We just found it very striking. And part of it is the look on her face. It's not about the color of her hair, or the fact that she's wearing a Polo shirt. What makes it interesting is her face."

As of press time, spokesperson for the band hasn't commented on the issue.

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