Nike Accused of Ripping Off Punk Band’s Artwork: Minor Threat cover co-opted by corporate skateboarders
“Nike never contacted Dischord to obtain permission to use this imagery, nor was any permission granted,” Dischord Records saidâ€””Simply put, Nike stole it and we’re not happy about it.”
One of the most highly regarded independent record labels in the United States might be heading for a clash with the world’s largest sporting goods company over decades-old album art the latter has recreated for an ad campaign.
Dischord Records, a Washington, DC-based punk rock record company is alleging that Nike stole the cover image from a 1981 Minor Threat recording to use in promoting a skateboard tour it is calling “Major Threat.” Minor Threat was a DC punk pioneer; the band’s frontman, Ian McKaye, founded Dischord and started several other bands, including Fugazi and his current project, The Evens.
Nike has been running promotional pieces for a nine-person skateboard tour that bear an extremely close resemblance to the cover of Minor Threat’s self-titled 1981 EP, as well as a later full album. The image and text, obviously parodied by Nike, have been associated with the legendary band for decades.
In a statement posted to the tour website yesterday, Nike offered an apology to the label and band but did not say it would cease using the art for advertisements.
Dischord and McKaye accused the company of outright theft and attempting to appropriate counterculture iconography for profit in a statement last week.
“Nike never contacted Dischord to obtain permission to use this imagery, nor was any permission granted,” the label said last Friday. “Simply put, Nike stole it and we’re not happy about it.”
They have posted Nike’s phone number and email on the Dischord website and are urging people to contact company representatives to express their displeasure with the ad campaign.
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Author: Brendan Coyne
News Service: NewStandard