Artist claims Kendrick Lamar’s video for “All The Stars” ripped off her work

Lina Iris Viktor claims the video for the Black Panther theme song used her paintings without permission.

Lina Iris Viktor

Kendrick Lamar may be in a bit of legal trouble after the release of his music video for “All The Stars” from the Black Panther soundtrack.

In “All The Stars,” Lamar joins forces with R&B “it” girl, SZA. The Dave Meyers directed video is not only gorgeous to behold but has the added bonus of featuring actual black panthers.

While Lamar’s on screen presence is undeniable, it’s SZA who steals the show in this Afro-futuristic masterpiece.

“All The Stars” is just the first offering from the upcoming soundtrack curated by King Kendrick. It’s set to feature five songs in total by him, as well as contributions from James Blake, Vince Staples, and more.

The controversy

According to reports, Lina Iris Viktor, says work from her series of paintings, “Constellations” was used in the video without her permission. Her attorney sent a letter to Top Dawg Entertainment head, Anthony Tiffith, alleging copyright infringement for the 24K gold patterned artwork by the British-Liberian artist. Viktor insists she had been contacted by the film’s creatives twice and declined to give her permission.

The lawyer’s letter alleges, “The infringement of Ms. Viktor’s rights is willful and egregious,” and says she is open “to discuss a resolution of all her claims, consisting at a minimum of a public apology for the unauthorized use and a license fee.”

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“Why would they do this? It’s an ethical issue, because what the whole film purports is that it’s about black empowerment, African excellence — that’s the whole concept of the story. And at the same time they’re stealing from African artists,” Viktor told The New York Times.

We’re thinking Kendrick Lamar and the Black Panther team may want to address the issue pretty quickly because Viktor came with receipts.

Art, lies and video tape

The letter from Viktor’s attorney also states that the video contains a 19-seconds (starting at the 2:59 mark) “that incorporates not just the immediately-identifiable and unique look of her work, but also many of the specific copyrightable elements in the ‘Constellations’ series of paintings, including stylized motifs of mythical animals, gilded geometric forms on a black background, and distinctively textured areas and patterns, arrayed in a grid-like arrangement of forms.”

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Viktor reportedly found out about the video from friends who informed her they had seen her artwork included in it. When Okay Africa published a post about the highly anticipated music video, they noted, “The work and influence of British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor can be clearly spotted.”

Check out the video and decide for yourself.

Viktor often shares her gorgeous works of art on social media.