The Velvet Underground have been told by a U.S judge that they do not have a copyright claim against The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, reports U.K newspaper, The Guardian.
The vintage rockers had demanded that Warhol's organisation stop licensing the famous Banana image, which appeared on their debut album ‘The Velvet Underground & Nico,’ for use on goods such as iPod covers, and remunerate them for previous use of the image. A court has dismissed the claim, which is part of a larger more complicated lawsuit surrounding the use of the iconic fruit. Due to a previously issued covenant, which promised to never sue the Velvet Underground, or related parties for copyright infringement, the judge, Alison Nathan had the following to say on the matter: “Without a specific dispute over imminent activity, a declaratory judgment here would simply be 'an opinion advising what the law would be under a hypothetical state of facts. The [US] Constitution gives this court no power to issue such an opinion." The US district court judge was talking to Hollywood.com.
Confused? Basically: The Velvet Underground cannot sue The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts over the licensing of the image, or claim any money for previous licencing. They can, however, pursue legal action over affiliation, sponsorship or approval of any products the image is used on. Considering it is unknown as to who holds the legal rights to the design, this court case, we expect, will enter further complications in the coming.