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No money for you, Nirvana Baby!

Nirvana's Nevermind cover art lawsuit dismissed

A judge in California has dismissed a lawsuit against Nirvana made by Spencer Elden, who appeared as a naked baby on the cover of their album Nevermind.

Elden sued the band last year, alleging sexual exploitation, and that the artwork constituted child sexual abuse.

Now 30, he said the infamous image had caused him "extreme and permanent emotional distress" as well as loss of wages and "enjoyment of life".

Nirvana filed to dismiss last month, saying Elden's arguments lacked merit.

"Elden's claim that the photograph on the Nevermind album cover is 'child pornography' is, on its face, not serious," their lawyers said, noting that anyone who owned a copy of the record would "on Elden's theory [be] guilty of felony possession of child pornography".

They continued by noting that, until recently, Elden had seemed to enjoy the notoriety of being the "Nirvana baby".

"He has re-enacted the photograph in exchange for a fee, many times; he has had the album title... tattooed across his chest; he has appeared on a talk show wearing a self-parodying, nude-colored onesie; he has autographed copies of the album cover for sale on eBay; and he has used the connection to try to pick up women."

The motion was filed by lawyers representing surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic; Kurt Cobain's widow Courtney Love; and Kirk Weddle, the photographer of the cover image.

Regardless of the merits of Elden's case, they argued, the statute of limitations on his claims had expired in 2011, meaning he was too late to sue.

His lawyers have argued that the statute of limitations does not apply, as long as Nevermind continues to be sold in its current form.

"Child pornography is a forever crime," Marsh Law told Variety in a statement last year. "Any distribution of or profits earned from any sexually explicit image of a child not only creates longstanding liability but it also breeds lifelong trauma. This is common for all of our clients who are victims of actively traded child pornography, regardless of how long ago the image was created."

Elden's team had until 30 December to respond to Nirvana's motion to dismiss, but missed the deadline.

As a result, Judge Fernando M Olguin dismissed the case "with leave to amend" - meaning his team have until 13 January to refile the case with appropriate changes.

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by Anonymousreply 46January 13, 2022 7:39 PM

The kid is an asshole for going about it this way, of course. And to call it child porn is absurd. BUT, look, when that picture was taken, no one on earth could've known how iconic it would become. The Nirvana guys have profited endlessly from that album. *Maybe* the right thing for Dave Grohl to do would be to give the kid $75,000-$100,000. It does seem fair to me.

by Anonymousreply 1January 4, 2022 3:44 PM

He should have just gone to them and asked them nicely for a lump sum because his image sold millions of albums/cds/DLs. I’ll bet they would have done a little something for him.

by Anonymousreply 2January 4, 2022 3:45 PM

R2 Right. He may not be entitled to the money. But one could argue he deserves to be duly compensated. He got terrible advice.

by Anonymousreply 3January 4, 2022 3:49 PM

I don't want no poor baby!

by Anonymousreply 4January 4, 2022 3:50 PM

Maybe he did approach them and they laughed in his face. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

by Anonymousreply 5January 4, 2022 3:53 PM

He should sue his parents if he wants to assign responsibility. If you’re hired as a model, it’s a flat fee. If the associated product sells well, you’re not entitled to a cut unless it was agreed. Duh. If it doesn’t sell well, you’re not held responsible or have to return your fee.

by Anonymousreply 6January 4, 2022 3:57 PM

The only question in my mind is whether they "owned" the image - which would require that the baby's parents signed a release giving up rights to the image.

I saw an article about a woman who donated a few thousand pix to the Library of Congress.

Getty proceeded to claim the pix while they were in the public domain, then sued the original photographer for copyright violation and WON.

When she sued Getty, the courts ruled that she lost all rights to the photos when she donated them, and Getty's claim on them while in the public domain was perfectly legal. That's messed up.

I firmly believe we all have the right to control the use of our image if we're NOT public figures. Now, I do think that once you start posting images of yourself on social media that is NOT locked down for privacy, it becomes much more debatable whether you've made yourself a public figure.

by Anonymousreply 7January 4, 2022 3:59 PM

Dave Grohl plays this camera-hungry but nice, affable guy. But I think the guy's a complete snake. No amount of fame and money is enough for him. Of course he'd never give the kid any cash.

by Anonymousreply 8January 4, 2022 3:59 PM

Baby Jessica should sue that hole!

by Anonymousreply 9January 4, 2022 4:00 PM

[quote]They continued by noting that, until recently, Elden had seemed to enjoy the notoriety ....He has re-enacted the photograph"

Hmmm, has anyone seen this "reenactment"? Is he cute? Hung?

by Anonymousreply 10January 4, 2022 4:01 PM

Another frivolous lawsuit wasting the Court's time. He has already used the album cover publicity many times to his financial and otherwise benefit. He's little more than a huckster out to grab as much money as possible.

by Anonymousreply 11January 4, 2022 4:07 PM

Spencer Elden today.

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by Anonymousreply 12January 4, 2022 4:10 PM

Reenacting the album cover photo.

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by Anonymousreply 13January 4, 2022 4:14 PM

R11 that may be the case but it is still HIM. Asshole, grifter, whoever he is, He should by default have some claim to his image.

by Anonymousreply 14January 4, 2022 4:22 PM

Well, not necessarily r14. His parents who were his legal guardians may have signed a model release giving all rights to the image if their son to the band or label (or whomever).

That’s why I suggested at r2 that he should have used his moral authority as the kid in the picture that sold millions of albums, rather than getting tough with them, when he probably didn’t have a leg to stand on. (Haven’t seen the model release so don’t know for sure.) His shysters tried to cook up a bunch of BS claims but the judge enjoyed shooting them down.

People are so stupid. Well, Donald Trump was elected president so there’s no need to ever point THAT out again.

by Anonymousreply 15January 4, 2022 4:41 PM

He was a model. This is like Jodie Foster suing Coppertone.

by Anonymousreply 16January 4, 2022 5:20 PM

How ironic with all the hostility towards women who come forward with actual sexual harassment, the worst offender, typically, is once again a man with his bullshit claim of "child pornography", etc.

by Anonymousreply 17January 4, 2022 5:24 PM

Good- this was a completely frivolous suit.

by Anonymousreply 18January 4, 2022 5:31 PM

[quote]Dave Grohl plays this camera-hungry but nice, affable guy. But I think the guy's a complete snake. No amount of fame and money is enough for him. Of course he'd never give the kid any cash.

I heard Grohl is worth over $350 million, Krist Novoselic is worth $80 million and Kurt Cobain's estate is worth over $450 million.

Surely, this guy who is so upset about being the baby on that Nirvana album cover can be given some money to shut him up.

by Anonymousreply 19January 4, 2022 5:32 PM

Give that baby some Cheerios™.

by Anonymousreply 20January 4, 2022 5:37 PM

His parents entered into a legal contract with the photographer, and were paid for their child's image. Whatever the financial terms were, he has no legal basis for suing the band. His dispute is with his parents. That he has used his position as the model to profit financially and socially demonstrates that he has not suffered the emotional and financial troubles that his lawsuit implied.

by Anonymousreply 21January 4, 2022 5:40 PM

[quote]That he has used his position as the model to profit financially and socially demonstrates that he has not suffered the emotional and financial troubles that his lawsuit implied.

It wouldn't matter if he did if the band paid for the image. His dispute would be with his parents or maybe the photographer.

by Anonymousreply 22January 4, 2022 6:21 PM

Baby, baby, baby, oh

Like baby, baby, baby, no

Like baby, baby, baby, oh

Thought you'd always be mine, mine

by Anonymousreply 23January 4, 2022 6:43 PM

If he'd truly been embarrassed all along, all he had to do is not tell anybody. Nobody would connect the adult person with the baby. Instead, he made money off the connection, and now he's trying to make more.

by Anonymousreply 24January 4, 2022 11:12 PM

Somebody probably told this guy that he'd hit the lottery by being photographed for the album cover and all he had to do to cash in was sue the band, record label, whomever, to collect some of those Nirvana millions.

I can't blame him for trying to get rich quick. We'd all do it if we could.

by Anonymousreply 25January 4, 2022 11:31 PM

Marsh Law?

by Anonymousreply 26January 4, 2022 11:42 PM

I find this whole story depressing. He really made his entire life about this damn photo. He's been appearing in articles for a least ten years talking about how he's the baby. Just move on. Get a career or an education.

by Anonymousreply 27January 5, 2022 3:15 AM

[quote]It wouldn't matter if he did if the band paid for the image. His dispute would be with his parents or maybe the photographer.

Why the photographer? Apparently, he everything by the books. If this dude feels exploited or whatever, he needs to blame his parents.

by Anonymousreply 28January 5, 2022 8:47 PM

[quote]Somebody probably told this guy that he'd hit the lottery by being photographed for the album cover and all he had to do to cash in was sue the band, record label, whomever, to collect some of those Nirvana millions.

Think you meant to say "Somebody probably told [bold]his parents[/bold] that he'd hit the lottery by being photographed for the album cover ..."

This man was a baby, he didn't have a say in [bold]any[/bold] of this.

by Anonymousreply 29January 5, 2022 8:51 PM

I assume the "lottery" that poster is referring to is Elden's recent lawsuit. In 1991 nobody had any thoughts of hitting the lottery, because nobody had any clue the album would be a hit. Elden was the son of a friend of the photographer. He simply needed a baby to photograph and that's who was available.

I don't necessarily blame the guy for trying to get some $$$ years later but it was incredibly scummy for him and his shitty lawyer to do it by claiming that this innocent image is pornography. It's obviously not how Elden really feels; he was proud to be associated with it for decades. Now he's completely destroyed his cred for a failed lawsuit. "Hey baby, I'm the guy who sued Nirvana" just isn't as good a pick-up line as "I was the kid on the cover of Nevermind."

by Anonymousreply 30January 5, 2022 9:09 PM

If this baby were 2 or 3 years older, etc., would the lawsuit make more sense? People (Josh Duggar) get into CP involving babies. No, I'm not clutching my pearls. Just saying that people need to be more cognizant that these babies and toddlers grow up into adults who maybe do care about their public images (photos).

Yes, it's the parents' doing, allowing the photo to be disseminated. (I'm not sure whether or not they got paid.)

Arguably, why do we ever need to see a naked baby unless we're the ones changing the diaper or giving a bath to the baby?

by Anonymousreply 31January 5, 2022 9:17 PM

FFS, the whole world doesn't need to operate on the assumption that any image of a naked baby is sexual just because a few pervs might get off on it. That's lunacy. I liked Kurt's response when Geffen wanted to censor the cover. He said he'd only allow it if they put a sticker over the penis saying "If you're offended by this, you must be a closet pedophile."

by Anonymousreply 32January 5, 2022 9:23 PM

What a baby 👶! Grow up!

by Anonymousreply 33January 5, 2022 9:39 PM

r32 If only Kurt were around to chime in on the lawsuit.

by Anonymousreply 34January 5, 2022 11:27 PM

[quote]The Nirvana guys have profited endlessly from that album.

From the music, not the album art.

by Anonymousreply 35January 5, 2022 11:32 PM

Why should he get anything? His image didn’t sell the album - the music inside did. You’d have to argue people bought the album for the image, and I don’t think any artists - particularly Dave Grohl - would ever cop to that. I don’t know - I’ve never bought an album because I liked the cover art - has anyone?

by Anonymousreply 36January 5, 2022 11:33 PM

Has Courtney chimed in?

by Anonymousreply 37January 5, 2022 11:37 PM

So the judge said “nevermind”?

by Anonymousreply 38January 5, 2022 11:41 PM

Kurt would sort Spencer out.

by Anonymousreply 39January 5, 2022 11:42 PM

He's cute and should have done the reenactment dong-out.

by Anonymousreply 40January 6, 2022 3:23 AM

The fact that the picture is a baby about to get hooked by a dollar makes this story very meta.

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by Anonymousreply 41January 6, 2022 3:31 AM

They guy is just a creep who's been attempting to profit from the photo ever since he was old enough to know how to profit from something. I don't feel any sympathy for him. He's just a greedy asshole.

by Anonymousreply 42January 6, 2022 3:39 AM

Nothing has changed. He was an ugly baby. He is an ugly adult. And he is still chasing, foolishly, after cash.

by Anonymousreply 43January 6, 2022 3:46 AM

Eewwww he was alot cuter as a baby ! Maybe he can sue his parents for not giving him goodlooking genes.

by Anonymousreply 44January 6, 2022 3:59 AM

Well, he's not giving up:

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by Anonymousreply 45January 13, 2022 7:25 PM

Ugh, babies are so annoying.

by Anonymousreply 46January 13, 2022 7:39 PM
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