Mercedes sues in dispute with artists over Detroit murals

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Mercedes-Benz USA is asking a judge to protect it from legal action over its use of images of murals in Detroit in social media posts.

The company says four artists threatened to file a lawsuit after their works appeared last year in Instagram posts about the G 500 Series truck. Mercedes-Benz removed the posts, although it insists it didn’t infringe on copyrights and was entitled to fair use of the murals.

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The company accused the artists of engaging in an “aggressive shakedown.”

James Lewis tells the Detroit Free Press that Mercedes-Benz “defamed” his mural by posting it slightly out of focus. He says it’s a “sacred piece” honoring African women.

A judge heard arguments Monday on the artists’ request to dismiss the lawsuits. There has been no decision.

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