Artist Michel Leah Keck Sues FX for Copyright Infringement for Using Her Paintings on Archer

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Michel Leah Keck’s I Don’t Want To Hear It, one of the works she claims FX series Archer used without permission. <br>Photo: Courtesy the artist via MichelKeck.com

Artist Michel Leah Keck has sued FX Networks for using three of her artworks without permission on its popular animated series Archer, according to a report on Courthouse News (see Will Andres Serrano Sue Over Theft of Piss Christ Copyright?)

Indiana-based Keck’s suit names FX and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and claims copyright infringement, maintaining that her paintings appear in the office of Malory Archer (voiced by actress Jessica Walter, who played Lucille Blooth on the sitcom Arrested Development) at the fictional family-run spy agency ISIS (International Secret Intelligence Service). Sterling Archer, a handsome but clueless and womanizing agent, is the focal point of the series.

“We do not have any comment at this time regarding Archer and the lawsuit,” Dominic Pagone, FX Networks senior vice president said in an email to artnet News.

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Malory Archer in her office on a recent episode of Archer. Photo: Courtesy FX.com

Keck’s suit, filed yesterday in federal court, alleges that three of her works—Sink or Swim, The Best Is Yet to Come, and I Don’t Want to Hear It—are used on office walls in the show. Copies of copyright registrations of her three works with the US Copyright Office are included with the suit, reports Courthouse News (see French Court Copyright Law Ruling Threatens Art Market Price Transparency).

According to Keck’s website, the artist works in a wide variety of mediums. Her abstract artworks—which bear some resemblance to paintings by Chinese-born artist Zao Wou-ki—are on offer at prices ranging up to $15,900.

“FX Networks and Fox Home Entertainment operate sophisticated media production and distribution businesses with trained staff and an excellent working knowledge of copyright law principles and rights-clearance practices,” the suit asserts. “Inexplicably, defendants used the works as part of Archer without even seeking the necessary permission to do so.”

Keck, who is represented by Joshua Bressler of Bressler Law, is seeking $30,000 per infringement, or up to $150,000 per infringement if the infringement is found to be intentional.


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