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

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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Former drug company executive Martin Shkreli
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Shkreli is sued over his $2 million Wu-Tang Clan album
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs after a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 26, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, center, and attorney Evan Greebel, left, exit federal court in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Shkreli was arrested on alleged securities fraud related to Retrophin Inc., a biotech firm he founded in 2011. Greebel is accused of conspiring with Shkreli in part of the scheme. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, exits federal court in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. Shkreli was arrested on alleged securities fraud related to Retrophin Inc., a biotech firm he founded in 2011. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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
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
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 (L), former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, arrives for a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs following a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., April 26, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Martin Shkreli (C), former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, arrives for a hearing at U.S. Federal Court in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. October 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Martin Shkreli (C), former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, arrives at a U.S. Federal Court in New York, U.S., June 6, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Former drug executive Martin Shkreli exits the U.S. Federal Courthouse in the Brooklyn borough of New York February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Martin Shkreli (top, R), former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, arrives before a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on "Developments in the Prescription Drug Market Oversight" on Capitol Hill in Washington February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, right, exits federal court with his attorney Benjamin Brafman in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., on Thursday, June 29, 2017. Shkreli is accused of engineering separate frauds tied to his control of two hedge funds he ran as well as�Retrophin Inc., a pharmaceutical company he founded in 2011. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli (C), chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc, departs U.S. Federal Court after an arraignment following his being charged in a federal indictment filed in Brooklyn relating to his management of hedge fund MSMB Capital Management and biopharmaceutical company Retrophin Inc. in New York December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Bloomberg Best of the Year 2016: Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, reacts during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Martin Shkreli, former chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC, smiles during a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on prescription drug prices in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. Shkreli, who is no longer with Turing and faces federal fraud charges unrelated to the drugmaker, declined to make any comments to the committee. 'On the advice of counsel, I invoke my Fifth Amendment,' Shkreli said. Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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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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