Posted on May 9, 2012

A Sydney based artist is threatening legal action against Madonna, claiming she stole the design of his logo for her new ‘Truth Or Dare’ fragrance.

Speaking to Australian daytime show ‘Sunrise’, RJ Williams claimed the Material Girl ripped off his signature “M” on the packaging and bottle of  her Truth Or Dare fragrance. He has stated that his logo has been used on various pieces of merchandise and street art to even being displayed in the Museum of Contemporary Art & that due to the fact he has used this logo within the public eye, it is automatically copyrighted. When asked about the financial implications of going up against such a well known figure, (or better yet the huge amount of money he could potentially receive), he responded by saying, “I don’t want to get anything, I just want to protect whats mine.”

RJ Williams & his 'M' logo on the left, Madonna's new 'Truth or Dare' Fragrance bottle on the right

Williams’ logo of eight years is shorter, squatted and thicker with a capital ‘T’ that aligns with the top of the ‘M’. Madonna’s Truth Or Dare logo uses a thinner line weight, a lower-case ‘t’ which crosses above the capitol ‘M’ (clearly meant to create controversy by representing a religious cross), so it is understandable why William’s would want to pursue legal action.

Although Williams states, “It’s about my integrity as an artist,” this hasn’t stopped him sending a letter to Madonna’s agent, Guy Oseary demanding a cut of sales of the perfume so far, as well as payment for future use of the logo.

He certainly isn’t the first person to threaten legal action against Madonna over intellectual property. Earlier this year, Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis claimed to have sent a cease and desist letter to Guy Oseary, demanding she change the title of her song ‘Girls Gone Wild’ from her latest album MDNA, and declared victory when the title became “Girl Gone Wild.”

What do you think? Does RJ Williams have a case or do the logos have enough differences? Personally I think they will just pay him off, although I understand why he would even want to try and sue her. As a designer your logo is a very personal thing, it is an artistic expression of you and your work. But being realistic, what rubs salt in the ‘copyright infringement inflicted wound’ is another person making millions off of it & you not being able to claim a penny. And just when you think things couldn’t get any worse, there will be that one person  that will say, “Cool Design! Hey did you know your logo looks like Madonna’s?”. FML!


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