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Mötley Crüe -- Accused of Graphic Robbery

1/18/2011 6:55 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Mötley Crüe is being sued over a sweatshirt ... and it all stems from an iconic photo taken way back in 1981.

Motley Crue Lawsuit

The Crüe and Live Nation are being sued by Ron Toma who claims he owns the copyright to the famous "belt buckle photo" .... taken by photog Michael Pinter back in 1981. The band used the photo on the cover of their hit album "Too Fast for Love."

But according to Toma's lawsuit, filed in Illinois Northern District Court, Crüe and Live Nation stole the image without permission and used it on some signature hoodies they're selling on their websites.

Toma is asking a judge to step in ASAP to administer some justice -- blocking MC and Live Nation from using the image without permission. Calls to Mötley Crüe weren't returned.


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Um...seems to me...if this is the cover art for their album released in 1982, that they have the right to put it on t-shirts and the like with the band's name. It's done all the time! Seems to me this is another case of someone looking for a little publicity!

1311 days ago


LMAO....It's their name which is selling....not the belt or whatever....Leave MC alone. one of the good bands in 80's.

1311 days ago


So I guess this means that Motley doesn't even own their own artwork. embarrasing... whomp whomp :(

1311 days ago

Conservatives are Cowards    

Sunny ain't a copyright attorney!

If he owns the copyright, he is owed royalties on any item that bears a copyrighted image. If he truly does own the copyright, and he is being stiffed on his due royalties, the proper recourse is through the civil courts. If he is in the right, the courts will find in his favor. If there is dispute as to whom the copyright belongs, he won't get paid.

1311 days ago


I hope they get a good chunk of $$ out of live nation. Live nation sucks big time and are always screwing the little guy.

1311 days ago


Big shocker...Live Nation doesn't give a crap about anyone's copyright except their own. If Ron Toma does own the copyright to the image, good for him for standing up and protecting what is his.

1311 days ago


Sunny is compeltely clueless.

Usage rights to an image owned by someonme else are negotiated and agreed to. If the use exceeds the kind or amount of usage agreed to its infringement. The fact that the image is on an album cover in 1982 is irrelevant. Its the usgae rights contract that is.

1311 days ago


I love Motley but seems a lot of commentors have no clue on cover art or intellectual property rights. many bands do not own thier artwork and even further many photographers own rights to thier images they shoot. If he owns the rights to the negatives and photos by either purchase or contract he is right and they are violating law. It sucks but its a common practice.

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