Martin Shkreli Compares Himself to GZA, Plays Wu-Tang Clan Album During 'Vice' Interview
Shkreli, 32, became widely known last year after a drug company he founded, Turing Pharmaceuticals, spent $55 million for the U.S. rights to sell a life-saving medicine called Daraprim and then raised the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. In recent testimony before a congressional committee investigating the price of drugs, he remained silent, citing the Fifth Amendment on the advice of his attorney, Benjamin Brafman. Brafman declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Koza, of Copiague, New York, said he learned that some of his portraits were in a 174-page book included with the album titled Once Upon a Time in Shaolin when he saw a news article after the sole copy of the album was reportedly sold to Shkreli. The lawsuit said Shkreli is prohibited from distributing further copies of the album commercially for 88 years.
Martin Shkreli Considers Destroying or Leaving Wu-Tang Clan's 'Shaolin' in a Remote Place
He sought unspecified damages from Shkreli, a Wu-Tang leader, a music producer and the album's auctioneer. Other defendants did not immediately comment.
The lawsuit said that Koza, a musician who works for the Town of Babylon Department of Public Works, primarily creates ink-on-paper portraits of individuals such as David Bowie, Abraham Lincoln, Paul McCartney and Jim Morrison.
His portraits of Wu-Tang Clan members, created in 2013 and 2014, were comic-book-style depictions of the artists with titles such as "Ghostface Killa-Koza," ''Inspecta Deck-Koza" and "U-God-Koza," the lawsuit said. It noted that he deposited applications to register all nine of his Wu-Tang Clan portraits with the U.S. Copyright Office on Feb. 1.