Megadeth Settle Lawsuit Over ‘The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!’ Album Artwork
A lawsuit brought against Megadeth over the art on their latest studio album, last year's The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!, has reportedly reached its conclusion, with a settlement being struck between the band and the artwork's illustrator, Brent Elliott White.
Last week (May 11), per The Hollywood Reporter (THR), all those involved filed a joint notice of settlement informing the court that "the parties have reached an agreement in principle for the resolution of this action." A settlement sum has not been disclosed.
White’s attorney, Matthew Cave of Kibler Fowler & Cave, confirmed the following day (May 12) that "the matter has been resolved amicably." A stipulation of dismissal will follow. Universal Music Group, Megadeth's parent record label, did not respond to THR for comment.
Lawsuit Over Megadeth Album Cover Art
The lawsuit was filed by White in February, as Loudwire previously reported. In the suit, White said he was contacted about working on the album in early 2020. Though no contract was signed at the time, White proceeded to develop a concept where revisions and edits and hours of works were required. He had previously worked with the group on three other projects.
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Per the suit, as first shared by THR, a concept was chosen for the album by April 2021, and the band asked White to create the art. More than a year later, he was then asked by a Megadeth manager for additional artistic renderings that could be used onstage for the band's upcoming tour. At that point, White reminded the manager that no contracts had been signed and that he hadn't been paid.
“I know album release time is hectic but I have to mention that any send off, including album art, is contingent on compensation and contract. So we’re going to have to sort that out soon,” White allegedly said at the time, per the suit. The manager, meanwhile, is alleged to have responded, "No one intended to not have this papered by now," and he added that he would "bring it up the right way."
According to White, the first single then dropped the following day and while his artwork was featured, he wasn't credited. He contacted Universal Music Group explaining that without an agreement to transfer rights, he still had the copyright. Meanwhile, the album then arrived in September 2022 and an agreed upon price had still not been settled.
That led to the lawsuit, in which White named Megadeth, Universal Music Group and others for alleged willful copyright infringement under New York's Freelance Isn't Free Act, which requires a written contract for work valued at $800 or more.
White sought compensation for what he called "unlawful attempts to reduce his compensation after he provided his services and the retaliation that he endured after his complaints." He also asked for a court injunction that would stop the band and their label from using the artwork. Read the full lawsuit here. Get Megadeth concert tickets here.
Under Megadeth's upcoming tour dates, see a list of many other rock and metal bands touring in 2023. Get Loudwire's newsletter and the Loudwire app for more.
Megadeth Summer 2023 Tour Dates
June 24 – Tampa, Fla. @ MIDFLORIDA Amp.
July 16 – Mansfield, Ohio @ Inkcarceration
July 23 – Katowice, Poland @ Spodek
July 26 – Talinn, Estonia @ Song Festival
July 28 – Oulu, Finland @ Q-Stock
July 29 – Kuopio, Finland @ Kuopiorock
July 31 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Annexet
Aug. 2 – Skanderborg, Denmark @ Smukfest
Aug. 4 – Wacken, Germany @ Open Air
Aug. 6 – Lokeren, Belgium @ Lokerse Feesten
Aug. 13 – Walton, England. @ Summer Breeze
Aug. 16 – Dinkelsbuhl, Germany @ Open Air
Aug. 17 – Pardubice, Czech Republic @ Enteria
Aug. 19 – Eindhoven, Netherlands @ Dynamo
Aug. 22 – Paris, France @ L'Olympia
Aug. 25 – Aarburg, Switzerland @ Open Air
Aug. 27 – Romano, Italy @ AMA Festival
Sept. 1 – Palmer, Ala. @ Alaska State Fair
Sept. 9 –Alton, Va. @ International Raceway
Sept. 22 – Louisville, Ky. @ Louder Than Life
Sept. 23 – Plymouth, Ind. @ Motor Speedway
Oct. 6 – Sacramento, Calif. @ Aftershock