Shkreli is sued over his $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album

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Artist Sues Martin Shkreli and Wu-Tang For Cover Art

NEW YORK, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Martin Shkreli faces a new legal headache, a lawsuit claiming that his $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album contains illustrations ripped off from a New York artist, who now wants the former drug executive to pay for them.

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In a complaint filed on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, Jason Koza said he never allowed his fan art depicting Wu-Tang members to be used in packaging for the hip-hop group's "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin," the sole copy of which Shkreli bought.

Photos of Shkreli's legal battles:

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Shkreli is sued over his $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album
Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli, right, huddles with his attorney Benjamin Brafman on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, following his appearance before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee. Shkreli refused to testify before U.S. lawmakers who excoriated him over severe hikes for a drug sold by a company that he acquired. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Benjamin Brafman, right, attorney for pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli, foreground, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, during a House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on rising drug prices. Shkreli refused to testify before U.S. lawmakers who excoriated him over severe hikes for a drug sold by a company that he acquired. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli waits on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, for the start of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on his former company's decision to raise the price of a lifesaving medicine. Shkreli refused to testify before U.S. lawmakers who excoriated him over severe hikes for a drug sold by a company that he acquired. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Pharmaceutical chief Martin Shkreli waits on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, for the start of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on his former company's decision to raise the price of a lifesaving medicine. Shkreli refused to testify before U.S. lawmakers who excoriated him over severe hikes for a drug sold by a company that he acquired. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, center, listens as his lawyer Benjamin Brafman, left, speaks to reporters as they leave court in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. Shkreli, who has become the poster child of pharmaceutical-industry greed after hiking the price of an anti-infection drug by more than 5,000 percent, is scheduled to appear at a congressional hearing on Thursday. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits for a photograph in his office in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, file photo, Martin Shkreli, center, the former hedge fund manager under fire for buying a pharmaceutical company and ratcheting up the price of a life-saving drug, is escorted by law enforcement agents in New York after being taken into custody following a securities probe. U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, said a lawyer for Shkreli indicated he has not sought permission from a New York judge to appear at a congressional hearing Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, on drug prices, despite receiving a subpoena. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)
Martin Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager under fire for buying a pharmaceutical company and ratcheting up the price of a life-saving drug, is belted into an awaiting car after being taken into custody following a securities probe, on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 in New York. A seven-count indictment unsealed in Brooklyn federal court Thursday charged Shkreli with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and securities fraud. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Martin Shkreli, center, leaves the courthouse after his arraignment in New York, Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Shkreli, the former hedge fund manager vilified in nearly every corner of America for buying a pharmaceutical company and jacking up the price of a life-saving drug more than fiftyfold, was arrested Thursday on securities fraud charges unrelated to the furor. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, sits behind a chess board in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
Martin Shkreli, chief investment officer of MSMB Capital Management, works on a computer in his office in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. MSMB made an unsolicited $378 million takeover bid for Amag Pharmaceuticals Inc. and said it will fire the drugmaker's top management if successful. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images ***Local Caption ** Martin Shkreli
"THEY SEE ME ROLLING..." http://t.co/D1mDBEeZMq
Turing Pharma Puppy Party 2015 http://t.co/0xf1zKUYXy
Activists hold signs containing the image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in front the building that houses Turing's offices, in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an angry backlash last month after it raised the price of Daraprim, the only approved treatment for a rare, life-threatening parasitic infection, by more than 5,000 percent. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, file photo, carrying an image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in a makeshift cat litter pan, AIDS activists and others are asked to leave the lobby of 1177 6th Ave. in New York, during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. A Senate committee tasked with protecting seniors launched an investigation Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, into drug price hikes by Turing, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Retrophin Inc. and Rodelis Therapeutics, responding to public anxiety over rising prices for critical medicines. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle, File)
Activists hold signs containing the image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in front the building that houses Turing's offices, in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an angry backlash last month after it raised the price of Daraprim, the only approved treatment for a rare, life-threatening parasitic infection, by more than 5,000 percent. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Activists hold signs containing the image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli in front the building that houses Turing's offices, in New York, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, during a protest highlighting pharmaceutical drug pricing. Turing Pharmaceuticals sparked an angry backlash last month after it raised the price of Daraprim, the only approved treatment for a rare, life-threatening parasitic infection, by more than 5,000 percent. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
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Shkreli has bragged that he had no plans to listen to the album, but bought it to "keep it from the people."

The 32-year-old is also known for sparking outrage last year among patients, doctors and politicians after his former company Turing Pharmaceuticals raised the price of the anti-parisitic infection drug Daraprim by more than 5,000 percent.

Koza, 34, of Copiague, New York, said he thought his nine works would appear only on the website WuDisciples.blogspot.com.

But the Fashion Institute of Technology graduate now blames Wu-Tang leader Robert "RZA" Diggs for including them in the "Shaolin" album, and Shkreli for allowing three works depicting Inspectah Deck, Ol' Dirty Bastard and Raekwon to accompany a Jan. 29 article at Vice.com.

"Mr. Koza was happy when his work appeared on the website," the complaint said. "Mr. Koza never granted a license for his works to be copied or displayed anywhere (else)."

Other defendants include Paddle8, which auctioned the album, and Wu Tang-affiliated producer Tarik "Cilvaringz" Azzougarh.

Koza said Cilvaringz has acknowledged the infringement, asking in a Jan. 31 email "if you want to skype discussing the use of your drawings. Thanks bro."

Benjamin Brafman, a lawyer for Shkreli, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Wu-Tang did not immediately respond to a similar request. A Paddle8 spokeswoman declined to comment.

Last Thursday, Shkreli invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination at a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on drug pricing, and later tweeted that lawmakers in Congress were imbeciles. He also faces separate federal securities fraud charges.

Koza is seeking unspecified damages plus profits stemming from copyright infringement.

His lawyer Peter Scoolidge said in a phone interview that Shkreli "didn't need to know" the illustrations were protected to be liable. "There is no intent requirement for copyright infringement," he said.

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