Lego sued for copyright infringement
10291 LEGO Odd Eye Loft Fab 5 Adult Construction Set, released last year based on the acclaimed Netflix show Queer Eye, put the Danish company in a very difficult position. American artist James Concannon has filed a lawsuit alleging that the LEGO Group infringed his copyright. The plaintiff alleges that the manufacturer of construction kits used his author’s design works in the specified project without permission. The specific object of the complaint was the leather jacket of Fab Five member Anthony Porowski, a replica of which is shown in the toy set.
The artist has been collaborating with the Queer Eye team since 2017, when he provided several shirts from the author’s collection with permission for their use by the production team of the TV show. A partnership developed between Concannon and Porowski. In 2018, the artist gave the star of the show a custom-made leather jacket as a gift. This model turned out to be officially registered with the US Copyright Office. For the first time, the presenter appeared in a new dress in the opening episode of the fourth season of the TV show in 2019.
Most likely, when developing a project with a designer, Netflix forgot to contact Concannon so that he would give permission to use the jacket in the show, as they had previously done with his models.
The case might not have gone to trial if the Lego representatives had not taken a pose. After James Concannon discovered that his design was used in the new set, he contacted customer service. Apparently, there he was offered to send a free copy of the set for his six-year-old son as compensation. This would end the conflict. However, the constructor did not reach the destination. When James Concannon contacted the company again, he was told that “the operator made a mistake” because the LEGO Group “does not give away their sets for free.” It can be assumed that now further proceedings will cost much more.