Earlier this year, Justin Bieber released latest album Justice. The record’s artwork caught the attention of French electronic duo Justice, who claimed the title displayed was visually similar to their imagery. In particular, they pointed to the cross-like design of the letter ‘t’ in the word Justice – the band have been using a cross logo for some years now.
Back in March, the band sent Bieber a cease-and-desist letter over the artwork and affiliated merchandise, claiming they trademarked the symbol back in 2008, and that the pop star’s use of the imagery constituted copyright infringement as he had not received permission from the band to utilise it. The band’s management also claimed that Bieber’s team had reached out to them in 2020, asking to be put in contact with Justice’s graphic designer to discuss a logo.
The band’s management went on to say that they attempted to set up a call between Bieber’s team and the designer, but it was never completed and the conversation ended there, and the first time they saw anything about the logo was the album’s announcement. Bieber’s management have denied the band’s claims.
Now, in a new interview with The Guardian around his debut solo album Escapades, Justice’s Gaspard Augé has opened up about the dispute.
“It’s how the world works today, and it’s a bit sad,” Augé said. “Though Bieber is from Canada, his actions fit this mindset of American hegemony: ‘Oh well, it’s just a small band from France, I’m sure we can take their name, nobody will care.'”
“Obviously, we don’t own the word ‘Justice’ and we don’t own the cross. But [Bieber’s] management got in touch first to ask where our logo came from, so it’s not some unhappy coincidence. To me, it’s a very conscious rip-off. And that’s where the problem is.”
Neither Bieber nor his management have responded to Augé’s comments.