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'Salt Bae' is being sued for $5m for misusing artwork featuring himself

'Salt Bae' is being sued for $5m for misusing artwork featuring himself

The Turkish restauranteur commissioned a single mural but used it at his restaurants all over the world and as a logo.
15 Apr, 2021

Turkish butcher, chef and restauranteur Nusret Gökçe, popularly known as 'Salt Bae', is facing a $5 million lawsuit for copyright infringement. A US artist says Gökçe used his artwork without permission.

The artwork in question is a illustration of him in his signature salt-sprinkling pose. Brooklyn artist Logan Hicks says he and fellow artist Joseph Iurato were hired by Gökçe to create a mural of him but then used that same artwork at his restaurants across the world and as his logo, according to the New York Post.

The mural was painted at Gökçe's Miami steakhouse and later appeared at the chef's Dubai, Doha, Istanbul and New York restaurants, according to court papers.

Hicks found out that Gökçe and his companies had used the same image without permission in window displays, on menus, takeout bags, wet wipe packaging, digital signs and the label for Salt Bae's line of seasoning, according to the suit.

Hicks then reportedly sent a cease-and-desist letter demanding that they stop using the original artworks in April 2020 but Gökçe and the companies “doubled down on their already widespread infringement, expanding their willful use of the Infringing Materials to locations in Doha, D Maris Bay (Turkey), Boston, Dallas and several additional locations in Istanbul,” the suit claims.

Photo: Court Documents via the New York Post
Photo: Court Documents via the New York Post

Gökçe first rose to fame in 2017 when images of him sprinkling salt on a steak went viral on Instagram. He was dubbed the Salt Bae and soared to fame on the internet.

Comments

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Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Apr 15, 2021 04:22pm
As you sow, so shall you reap.
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JJ Apr 15, 2021 05:12pm
As you salt, so shall you eat!
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What is this? Apr 15, 2021 10:06pm
They were commissioned; it's not their property after the fact.
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Kashmiri Apr 16, 2021 04:40am
I don’t think that’s wrong in any way. Salt bae paid for the artwork and he can now use it anywhere he likes. That’s his property.
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Humza Apr 16, 2021 07:30am
@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad As they say in Turkish, Ne ekersen, onu bicersen! Salt Bey need to understand that international legal copyrights apply everywhere.
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Shabbe Apr 16, 2021 07:56am
It’s his picture for his own restaurant. Why is he been sued for his own identity. It’s insane
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MellowMia Apr 16, 2021 12:42pm
Sorry, but you guys don't understand original artwork and copyright laws at all. There are different kinds of contracts for artists. Just because you buy a peice of art does not mean you can copy and distribute it as your own. Even worse, this guy used the artwork in his merch, which obviously wasn't what had been agreed upon. If it were, the negotiable price would have reflected that.
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JLo Apr 16, 2021 09:25pm
Get rich quick scheme by the duo artists.. Nothing else..
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Dthe1one Apr 17, 2021 04:02am
@What is this? That's what i don't understand, its his property after that. Now as long as he doesn't claim to have sone it himself and spread word who dis draw it it should be fine.
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Felicia Apr 17, 2021 07:30pm
@Kashmiri he paid for the mural, not for it to be used as promotional material or duplicated otherwise
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