‘Salt Bae’ hit a $ 5 million copyright strike over chef’s artwork

Celebrity chef Nusr-et Gökçe – better known as “Salt Bae” – has been hit by a $ 5 million lawsuit for copyright infringement by a Brooklyn artist who claims the social media star’s works of art are without consent around the world.

William Hicks says he and fellow artist Josphe Iurato were hired by Gökçe in September 2017 to paint a mural of the Turkish restaurateur “in his signature salt-sprinkling pose,” according to a Manhattan lawsuit from Monday.

The first work was displayed at Gökçe’s steakhouse in Miami, and subsequent commissioned stencil paintings also blended into his restaurants in Doha, Dubai and New York, the court papers said.

Only Hicks then discovered in early 2020 that Gökçe and his companies around the world were using the same image in shop windows, digital signs, menus, wipes, takeout bags and on the label for his line of spices – all without the artist’s consent, the court documents claim.

Images included in court documents on April 13, 2021 show artwork by William Hicks and Joseph Iurato with Salt Bae, also known as Nusr-et Gökçe, in his signature pose.

Court documents

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Images included in court documents on April 13, 2021 show artwork by William Hicks and Joseph Iurato with Salt Bae, also known as Nusr-et Gökçe, in his signature pose.

Court documents

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Images included in court documents on April 13, 2021 show artwork by William Hicks and Joseph Iurato with Salt Bae, also known as Nusr-et Gökçe, in his signature pose.

Court documents

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Images included in court documents on April 13, 2021 show artwork by William Hicks and Joseph Iurato with Salt Bae, also known as Nusr-et Gökçe, in his signature pose.

Court documents

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Private school teacher Paul Rossi writes that we …

“The defendants engaged in widespread, unauthorized distribution and use of the original works at Nusr-et’s steakhouses and Saltbae Burger’s restaurants in New York, Dubai and Istanbul,” the indictment said.

Defendants also unilaterally decided that they would instead unlawfully modify, create and distribute unauthorized derivative versions of the original works … for display at Nusr-et steakhouse locations in at least Abu Dhabi, Ankara, Etiler, Mykonos and Bodrum Yalikavak Marina, “the claim of court documents.

Hicks reportedly sent a cessation letter demanding that they stop using the original artworks by April 2020. However, Gökçe and the companies, “doubled down on their already widespread infringement and expanded their deliberate use of the infringing materials to locations around the world. Doha, D. Maris Bay (Turkey), Boston, Dallas and several other locations in Istanbul, ”the indictment claims.

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Images included in court documents on April 13, 2021 show artwork by William Hicks and Joseph Iurato with Salt Bae, also known as Nusr-et Gökçe, in his signature pose.

Court documents

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Images included in court documents on April 13, 2021 show artwork by William Hicks and Joseph Iurato with Salt Bae, also known as Nusr-et Gökçe, in his signature pose.

Court documents

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Images included in court documents on April 13, 2021 show artwork by William Hicks and Joseph Iurato with Salt Bae, also known as Nusr-et Gökçe, in his signature pose.

Court documents

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Images included in court documents on April 13, 2021 show artwork by William Hicks and Joseph Iurato with Salt Bae, also known as Nusr-et Gökçe, in his signature pose.

Court documents

Next one


Private school teacher Paul Rossi writes that we …

Gökçe first rose to world fame in 2017 when images of him sprinkling flamboyant salt on a steak went viral on Instagram. He opened the New York Nusr-et outpost in early 2018.

Gökçe was not immediately available for comment.

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