'Once Upon a Time in Shaolin' Photographer Hits Wu-Tang Clan With $1 Million Lawsuit

A photographer named Warren Patterson has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the group.

The story of the Wu-Tang Clan's ultra-rare Once Upon a Time in Shaolin album keeps taking bizarre turns.

Finally free from the clutches of Martin Shkreli's cold hands, the only copy of the album is now the property of the United States government, and its fate is at the whim of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. According to documents obtained by The Blast, the album is also the subject of a new lawsuit. 

A photographer named Warren Patterson claims that he shot photos of the album's infamous silver case back in 2013 and 2014, but he was never paid for his work. One of his photos was used for an album cover, but Patterson alleges that he had no idea that was the plan—nor did he give the group permission to do so. He says he spent over 80 hours shooting the photos.

The lawsuit states, "the infringing copies of the Plaintiff’s works [were] delivered to a law office in New York County, New York by mail or courier service to be picked up by a purchaser named Martin Shkreli."

The Blast reports that Patterson's copyright infringement lawsuit seeks over $1 million in damages and Wu-Tang's Method Man, RZA, Raekwon, Cappadonna, Ghostface Killah, GZA, Inspectah Deck, Masta Killa, and U-God are all named as defendants.

Wu-Tang representatives have not commented on the lawsuit outside of a rep for Method Man who told The Blast, "Method Man did not select nor authorize the photography used on the Wu-Tang album."

This is the second time in the past few weeks that the group has been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit. In March, members of the Diplomats (the '60s soul group, not Dipset) filed a lawsuit against the Wu-Tang Clan over their 2017 song “People Say,” claiming that the melody was lifted from their 1969 record "I've Got the Kind of Love." Sounds like it's about to be a busy summer for Wu-Tang's legal team.

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