Megadeth Settles Copyright Lawsuit with the Artist Behind The Sick, The Dying…and the Dead! Cover Art
Back in February, a New York-based artist Brent Elliot White filed a lawsuit against Megadeth, Universal Music Group, and other parties involved for failing to properly compensate him for his work. He also said he was owed money as a result of the cover’s use, since there was never a finalized contract that transferred the copyright over to the artist, label, or both.
This past Thursday, all parties joined up to file a notice that a settlement had been reached outside of court, stating that it reached an agreement that all sides can agree to. They plan to have the case completely dismissed within 30 days.
According to the initial report by The Hollywood Reporter, the complaint alleged that 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 part of.
It’s good to see this sort of thing eventually get figured out. Hopefully White can continue making cover art for bands and he’ll be properly compensated as a result.