Artist Claims Megadeth Stiffed Him for The Sick, The Dying… And the Dead! Cover Art
The New York-based artist that created the cover art to Megadeth’s latest studio album The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! is suing Mustaine and company after allegedly not getting paid or getting any credit for his work.
According to a report by The Hollywood Reporter, the complaint alleges that illustrator and designer Brent Elliott White had been contacted by the band back in early 2020 about the new album and its need for artwork. Without a signed contract in place, he drew up a concept and worked with the band on multiple revisions and numerous hours of work on his own.
It wasn’t until April 2021 that Megadeth decided on an artistic concept for the album’s cover art, at which point they asked White to put something together for an EP release. Then, the complaint alleges that the band’s manager Bob Johnson requested that White provide some extra renderings for the band’s upcoming tour. It was at that time, according to the complaint, that White brought up the fact that he hadn’t been paid at all and that he was working without a signed contract in place. Johnson apparently said that was an error that would be rectified.
Except literally the next day the first single dropped, White’s art was featured, and he still apparently hadn’t received a dime or been credited for his work. When the album dropped a couple months later, a price still hadn’t been agreed upon. To this day, he says he’s not been made whole by the band, despite the critical acclaim, Grammy nomination, and countless YouTube views his art has been a aprt of.
All this has led to White suing the band, UMG, and other parties for copyright infringement, resulting in multiple claims covered by New York’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act. Under that provision, workers are required to be given a contract of at least $800 and sets standards for when they get paid and comes with other protections.
If granted everything he’s asking for, White could get paid for damages and a disgorgement (or portion) of the profits, along with an injunction requiring Megadeth to stop using his art. You can check out the full complaint below.