Tupac Shakur Autopsy Photo in Middle of Copyright Tug-Of-War

Image: Tupac Shakur Autopsy Photo in Middle of Copyright Tug-Of-War

Friday, 09 May 2014 01:01 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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The famous autopsy photo of rapper Tupac Shakur published in author Cathy Scott's 1997 book about the killing was recently seen in Wyclef Jean's new music video for "April Showers" which prompted Scott to get the video pulled from YouTube.

TMZ on Thursday, however, got in contact with an actor named Richard Garcia who says he was hired by the video's director to re-create the photo in real life, and that the video therefore did not use nor infringe on the photo's copyright.

Garcia said makeup artist Autumn McHugh spent 8 hours on him to get the tattoos, flesh wounds and everything else just right — even though in the end the shot of him was only featured for a split second.

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By Friday, Scott and the director, Hezues R', had reached a settlement: Scott's name would be added in a credit at the end of the video. The settlement seems like a win-win, as the controversy spurred publicity for both the new video and the old book.

Even in death, Tupac remains highly relevant to the music community and hip hop in particular.

A major motion picture chronicling his life has been in development since last year, and in mid-April Deadline Hollywood reported that the film, which will be directed by John Singleton and produced in-part by Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, was picked up for distribution by Open Road Films. The company has committed 2,000 screens to the opening in the U.S.

In early May, Rolling Stone reported that Grammy-nominated rapper Kendrick Lamar who hails from Compton, California, honored Tupac by performing a cover of his megahit single, "California Love."

Suge Knight, the owner of Tupac's one-time label, Death Row Records, said last Friday in an interview with TMZ that Tupac was still alive, fueling rampant, long-running rumors that the rapper's death was faked. Knight was in the driver seat of the car that was shot up, killing his friend.

"Why you think nobody been arrested if they said they the one that killed Tupac?" Suge said alluding to the unsolved nature of the killing. "Because Tupac not dead. If he was dead, they’d be arresting those dudes for murder. You know he’s somewhere smoking a Cuban cigar on an island."

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