Mercedes sues in dispute with artists over Detroit murals

DETROIT — Mercedes-Benz USA is asking a judge to protect it from legal action over its use of images of Detroit outdoor murals in social media posts.

The company says four artists threatened to file a lawsuit after their works appeared last year in Instagram posts about the G 500 Series truck. Mercedes-Benz removed the posts, although it insists it didn't infringe on copyrights and was entitled to fair use of the murals.

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The company accused the artists of engaging in an "aggressive shakedown."

James Lewis tells the Detroit Free Press that Mercedes-Benz "defamed" his mural by posting it slightly out of focus. He says it's a "sacred piece" honouring African women.

Detroit federal Judge Avern Cohn on Wednesday rejected a request by the artists to dismiss three lawsuits by Mercedes-Benz.

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