The family of an American graffiti artist are suing McDonald’s for damaging his reputation as an anti-establishment rebel by allegedly using his tag in a redesign of up to 50 of its fast-food outlets in Britain.
Dashiell Snow, known as Dash, was a member of New York’s illicit IRAK graffiti crew.
His former girlfriend claims that the use of his “SACE” bubble letter tag by McDonald’s to attract younger customers has made him appear to be a corporate sell-out.
Snow was a nephew of the actress Uma Thurman and his grandparents were French aristocrats. He died of a drug overdose in 2009, aged 27.
The legal action for copyright infringement is being brought by Jade Berreau, the mother of his daughter. Her claim, which was filed in a Los Angeles federal court, says: “Nothing is more antithetical to Mr Snow’s outsider ‘street cred’ than association with corporate consumerism — of which McDonald’s and its marketing are the epitome.”
Ms Berreau claims that McDonald’s has “diminished the value of Mr Snow’s work”, which can sell for more than $100,000 (£82,000).
McDonald’s said: “As this matter is in the hands of lawyers it would be inappropriate to comment.”
The restaurant chain was also sued by Eric Rosenbaum, a grafitti artist who claimed that it ripped off his “NORM” tag. The claim was withdrawn in May.