Judge throws out part of The Velvet Underground's lawsuit against Warhol Foundation

Judge throws out part of The Velvet Underground's lawsuit against Warhol Foundation

Earlier this year, John Cale and Lou Reed filed a lawsuit against the Andy Warhol Foundation For The Visual Arts, claiming the organization was illegally licensing the iconic Warhol-designed banana cover of their 1967 record, The Velvet Underground & Nico. Turns out the crotchety ex-Velvets didn’t like their album art popping up on iPad accessories, which the band claims implied their endorsement. (For its part, the Warhol Foundation “wonders if this is the same band that broke up 40 years ago.”)

Unfortunately for Cale and Reed, a federal judge dismissed the band’s claim of copyright infringement on Friday, saying that, since Warhol never copyrighted the image, the particulars would be too hard to rule on one way or the other. The portion of the suit about trademark infringement remains in play.

In related news, The Velvet Underground & Nico will be reissued in a deluxe format Oct. 1. Spread across six discs and featuring alternate takes, mixes, live recordings, practice sessions, and both stereo and mono versions of the album, the record will also come bundled with Nico’s Chelsea Girl, a live show from Columbus, Ohio, a studio session recorded to acetate in April 1966, and a set of recordings from a ’66 rehearsal at Andy Warhol’s Factory.