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Green Day Accused of Ripping Man's Face Off

3/25/2010 7:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The guys from Green Day are getting sued by an artist who is accusing the band of stealing a facial feature he created.

The image in question shows a frightened, fang-toothed face -- which was plastered on the Green Day website in 2009, featured in a music video and displayed at concerts (left).

Artist Dereck Seltzer claims he created the face years ago (right) and even got it copyrighted -- and Green Day never got his permission to use it, so he filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court.

Green Day's lawyer, Don Passman, tells TMZ, "Green Day received Mr. Seltzer's image from a responsible company and was unaware that there could be any copyright or other issues."


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Dereck Seltzer is amazing artist who has been in the Los Angeles art scene for MANY years. How big is the legal team that Greenday has? They couldn't do some research and try to find Mr. Seltzer? He has been having Gallery Shows all OVER Los Angeles for years, a little bit of effort or research would have located Mr. Seltzer. So Mr. Passman why are you and GREENDAY playing stupid? Did you just think that any and all art was yours for the taking? You KNOW that the company wasn't "responsible".......So why hasn't GREENDAY done the RESPONSIBLE thing and paid Mr. Seltzer for the use of his copywritten art over and over and over again? Whip out the check book and PAY UP!!!!!!

1674 days ago


@ Greeneyes

Fact is that Green Days copywrited material has been stollen. Probally by millions of people. Illegal downloading of music is very easy and there is not much that they can do to stop it. Do they complain about that? no they dont they just get on with it, I know this guy feels ripped off or whatever but im sure it is more down to bad advise than Green Day trying to intensionly use his art and rip him off.

1674 days ago


I have been collecting Derek Seltzer's work for a few years now. The guy is an Honest hard working and very talented artist who is trying to survive by pushing his artwork forward. He certainly does not deserve a huge record corporation behind green day to come and strip the image without permission. This is another story about a huge record corporation stepping all over the little guy taking what they want and leaving the hard working struggling person with nothing not even recognition. We should stand together against these type of injustices. Wish you the best Derek!

1674 days ago


I like Greenday even if I don't agree with a lot of their politcal messages they like to ram down our throats these days. I really don't think this was done with malicious intent and I am sure they will settle it shortly. Also I hope they go after the company the likely paid to use that image.

1674 days ago


I have known Dereck know for many years.He is honest hard working and very talented artist.Perhaps the members of Greenday did not immediately know of what was going on but their "people" most definitely did!The bottom line is they need to pay for the art work that was used without permission.The members of Greenday must know by now and they need to make this right!! Dereck is a good honest guy and deserves to be compensated for his art work!!

1674 days ago


dude...everyone chill out y's everyone doggin green day? its not even settle nowhere on there did it say they werent gona pay the guy chill out...

1674 days ago


They've made a career out of ripping off original punk bands. No big surprise here.

1674 days ago


lol green day, what a bunch of posers. BTW has anyone noticed that the singer to GD looks more and more like the singer to the Cranberries? Who cares anyways they both are PANTS!!!

1674 days ago


@ Alan - Are under the impression that it is ok to steal art from an up and coming (read broke) new artist trying to make his way in the world? This has been going on since August 2009. The FACT is that Greenday has had over 7+ months to to the RIGHT thing and settle with Mr. Seltzer paying him for the repeated use of his artwork. Yet they have done nothing and long after they were informed that they were using his art and they were told to STOP, Greenday continued to use the image, with no credit given to Dereck Seltzer whatsoever.They made no effort to try and find out who Dereck Seltzer is and pay him for the use of his art. It is ALL wrong and GREENDAY needs to make amends to Mr. Seltzer ASAP as well as a formal apology and and credit needs to be given to Mr. Seltzer for all past, present and FUTURE use of his art.

1674 days ago


Green Day is a very successful and well known band with loads of money. Dereck Seltzer is obviously a very talented artist who might not be as well known but was clearly taken advantage of. Green Day, remember how it feels to have somebody steel a song?

1674 days ago


That is just too close for comfort. I hope Dereck is successful winning this. Green Day gone bad.

1674 days ago


Hey, I know Dereck and I liked GreenDay back in the day (Also, I met this guy who said he was Billy Joe Armstrongs cousin and said Billy had it tough but worked hard); So, I think that this is an unfortunate waste of time for everyone. Who ever messed up did so, and there has to be some kind of credit given--because Dereck works his butt off and is stillll the nicest guy I know.'s green day: CACHING! F&*% YOU--too greedy corporations: You all need a yacht as much as I need an a#@-hole on my face.

1674 days ago


@ Greeneyes
Im not questioning the fact that this guys art may have been used and that he may deserve compensation for his work being used, I was only stating that Green Days copywrited material is being stolen all the time because you asked the question in your first post "How would they like it if there copywritted material was being stolen?" I was just saying that im sure they know exactly how it feels to have copywritted material stolen, thats all. I had no problem with the rest of it.

1674 days ago


ITT: a bunch of morons that couldn't graduate from Community College pointing fingers and playing 'grown up.'

Green Day hasn't put out a good record since 1996. Who the hell is paying to see them?

1673 days ago


Ever hear of stock photography/illustration?! I assume they purchased the image from a stock company which means that they also purchased the rights to use the image.

1673 days ago
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