Wall Street Bull Artist Sues Random House over Book Cover
The artist who created the Wall Street bull is suing publisher Random House and the author of a new book on the collapse of the investment bank Lehman Brothers because he alleges his image was used on the cover. Arturo Di Modica filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan for unspecified damages and to have the picture removed from the book, â€œA Colossal Failure of Common Sense.â€
The lawsuit said that Random House never asked for permission to use a picture of Di Modicaâ€™s sculpture. In 1989, Di Modica used a truck and a crane to place the statue without permission in front of the New York Stock Exchange. He said it was meant as encouragement to young people and businesses after the 1987 stock market crash. It was then transported to Bowling Green in lower Manhattan, where it can be found to this day.
The book, written by Lawrence G. McDonald, uses a photo of the nearly 7,000-pound bull sculpture to adorn the cover. McDonaldâ€™s book references the story of how the sculpture came to rest in its current location. Since New York City does not own the sculpture, it has been on a temporary permit to stand there since 1989. The bull statue has come to be a popular stop for tourists.
This has not been the first time that Di Modica has brought legal action over the unauthorized use of his image. In 2006, Di Modica filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart, claiming that the store was selling lithographs of his work without permission. He also sued North Fork Bank for using an image of the bull in a television advertising campaign. For many years, he has looked for someone to buy the statue and leave it where it still stands in order to recoup about $360,000 in costs for the work. â€œOver the years so many people have offered to buy it, but it must stay where it is,â€ Di Modica told the Wall Street Journal in 2004.
Di Modicaâ€™s Web site includes a biography of the â€œsculptor of the world famous â€˜Charging Bull,â€ along with a gift shop and 360-degree view of the bull. The artist also sells smaller versions of the bull sculpture.
Di Modica included a copy of the copyright for the statue in the lawsuit, created in 1989 and filed with the copyright office in 1998. Random House spokesman David Drake did not comment on the pending litigation, saying that they had not yet been served.
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