NEW YORK, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- Run-DMC is suing Amazon, Walmart and several other online retailers for selling unlicensed products containing the legendary hip-hop group's logo, confusing fans and harming their business interests.
Lawyers representing Darryl "DMC" McDaniels filed a $50 million lawsuit Thursday in federal court alleging the retailers are "trading on the goodwill" of the band by selling unlicensed products to fans and implying the group has endorsed them.
Run-DMC is among the artists seen as the godfathers of rap, inspiring generations of future artists and helping the genre break through to the mainstream in the 1980s with massive tracks such as "It's Like That," "Run's House" and "My Adidas," and collaborating with Aerosmith on an updated version of their hit "Walk This Way."
As a result, their logo has become iconic, bringing in more than $100 million since the group started. Their association with Adidas, as a result of wearing the shoes constantly and writing a song about how much they liked them, led to a $1.6 million deal with the company to use the shoe logo with their own on some products.
Calling the number of infringing products "too numerous to properly list," the suit refers to shirts, glasses, hats and other products designed based on the Run-DMC brand.
In addition to Amazon and Walmart, the lawsuit includes smaller retailers such as Jet.com, Vision World, SW Global and Infinity Fashion for selling the products. The lawsuit accuses the retailers of being business partners with Amazon and all benefiting from use of the stolen logo.
"The products sold by the defendants confuse the public as to the source of the products and suggests that RUN-DMC endorses the products," lawyers write in the suit. "The defendants are trading on the goodwill of plaintiff."