Legendary rap group RUN-DMC has filed a $50 million lawsuit against a variety of retail outlets, including Wal-Mart and Amazon, for their unauthorized usage of the group’s trademark. The suit alleges that these companies are “trading on the goodwill” that RUN-DMC has built with their fan base to sell products that have not been endorsed by the group.
Darryl McDaniels, also known as DMC, cited the mass production of his trademark black frame glasses as an example, while the aforementioned are also alleged to have sold shirts, hats and various other forms of merchandise that have been emblazoned with the group’s trademark without seeking the necessary permission.
Original member Jam Master Jay passed away in a 2002 shooting that remains unsolved and the other surviving members, Reverend Run and DMC, no longer perform together. However, they are still widely considered to be elder statesmen in the rap community and the suit has been filed with the intention of stopping this unwanted form of copyright infringement.
The companies that have been accused of these violations also include a number of Amazon’s business partners and at press time, none of the retailers who have been named in the suit could be reached for comment.
Similarly, the attorney who is responsible for filing the case, Christopher Brown, also refused to return messages seeking a comment on the case.