Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Two Corporations in Court over Ownership of ‘Irreplaceable,’ A Tupac Shakur Painting | VIDEO

Tupac final album cover art - screenshot
Tupac final album cover art – screenshot

*Tupac Shakur is long dead, but it looks like he will still continue to make news. Thanks to his outstanding music and accompanying art, his legacy will never be forgotten. Tupac was shot in the arm, thigh, and chest in 1996 while in Las Vegas. He was then rushed to the hospital and put on life support, but later succumbed to his injuries. The post-mortem revealed he died from internal bleeding.

The latest saga about Tupac involves his painting, which has seen Amara Entertainment corporation sue Heritage Capital Corporation, Heritage Auctions, and the Zelus Group, a Texas limited liability company, for conversion, claim and delivery, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief. Amara filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, June 15, at the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County, according to a report from The Blast.

The site claims to have seen court documents where Amaru states it’s the “successor-in-interest to the late recording artist and poet Tupac Shakur.” Amaru also adds in the court documents that its mission “includes preserving Shakur’s legacy and assuring the integrity of his creations and related material so that they are available for study and public display.”

Amaru says that material from Tupac’s life is currently on display “in the critically acclaimed ‘Tupac Shakur Wake Me When I’m Free’ museum exhibit in downtown Los Angeles” after “significant efforts and successful litigations against numerous third parties who had come into wrongful possession of it.”

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Amaru asserts that they have the right to material that Tupac recorded and released through Death Row Records towards his final years in life. These include original cover artwork for his last album released after his death and the painting on the album cover. This particular painting, which is currently the bone of contention, is said to have been created by Ronald Brent, who was a Death Row Records employee.

Because Brent was on the payroll of Death Row Records when he created the painting in 1996 as part of his job responsibilities, and since Amaru is recognized as Tupac’s successor-in-interest, they argue that the painting is legally theirs. Therefore, Heritage Capital Corporation broke the law when it held an auction for the painting on or about May 20, 2022, after acquiring it in October 2021. Brent’s job responsibilities included creating the cover art for albums.

While it is Brent who did the actual creation, Amaru says “Shakur dictated the design and elements of the Painting, and Brent followed his instructions, as DRR required him to do.”

Tupac Shakur painting (brick wall) - Wikipedia
Tupac Shakur painting – Wikipedia

Tupac Shakur painting (head scarf) - Instagram
Tupac Shakur painting – Instagram

Death Row Records then registered the copyright to the album on December 11, 1996. The copyright included the painting.

“Heritage Capital Corporation have no right, title, or interest in the painting because it belonged to DRR and now belongs to Amaru.” Amaru further writes that the lawsuit’s purpose is to recover the Painting so that it is restored to its rightful owner and can be maintained and preserved as part of Tupac’s legacy.

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