“The allegations made are completely false and the lawsuit is baseless,” the Jenners’ clothing company said in a statement.
On Friday, photographer Michael Miller, who took the photographs of the rap legend that the Jenners then overlayed their own images on top of, said the sisters “misappropriated and wrongfully exploited” his work. Miller’s suit added the Jenners “intended to exploit his photography, let alone obtain his authorization.”
However, the sisters’ company argued that “no infringement or violation of anyone’s rights” had occurred regarding the Shakur photographs since they purchased the images from a company that had been authorized to license them, Sky News reports.
“Canada Inc, the licensee manufacturer of the K + K brand, purchased a very small quantity of vintage T-shirts with performer images already on them. Only two Tupac T-shirts were sold before being pulled from distribution,” the Jenners said in a statement. “Canada Inc did not copy anyone’s image, remove any copyright notice from any image or attempt to exploit Mr. Miller’s claimed right of publicity.”
As Miller lawyer’s Scott Alan Burroughs previously noted, the photographer registered his Tupac images at the U.S. Office of Copyright and could receive statutory damages of $150,000 per photo.
In a separate statement Friday, the Jenners’ representative Todd Wilson said that Kendall and Kylie had no role in the actual creation of the clothes. “It’s like suing an actor for being in a movie,” Wilson said of Miller’s lawsuit.
While the Jenners have faced the specter of legal action from artists like the Doors and the Notorious B.I.G. – the estates of both filed cease-and-desist orders and left the door open for possible lawsuits – Miller is the first to actually sue the sisters over their ill-advised shirts.