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The estate of The Notorious B.I.G. has settled a legal dispute filed against the photographer Chi Modu over intellectual property linked to photos of him.

A long-standing dispute between the estate of The Notorious B.I.G. and photographer Chi Modu has been resolved, with the court finding in favor of the late Hip-Hop icon, according to Digital Music News. The estate filed a lawsuit against the photographer in a California court in March 2019 over unauthorized usage of photos that Modu took of The Notorious B.I.G. aka Christopher Wallace in 1996, claiming that they were used on merchandise that was sold, violating their intellectual property rights.

The estate, known as Notorious B.I.G., LLC, was formed by the artist’s mother Voletta Wallace, and his widow, R&B star Faith Evans. The lawsuit stated that Chi Modu used iconic photos of the rapper on merchandise such as “snowboards, (…) skateboards, shower curtains, and NFTs” without their permission. These images, which Modu (who died in 2021 of cancer) took as a photographer for The Source include several taken of Biggie standing in front of the World Trade Center in 1996, a year before his tragic death in Los Angeles and five years before the Twin Towers were destroyed in the 9/11 terror attacks. At the time of the lawsuit, Modu claimed that since he was the original photographer, he didn’t need to seek permission.

In May 2022, the court found in favor of The Notorious B.I.G.’s estate, ruling in a preliminary injunction against Chi Modu’s widow, Sophia, prohibiting further sales of merchandise bearing Biggie’s image due to the violation of the estate’s right to publicity in that image. The monetary details of the settlement won’t be disclosed, according to legal firm Nixon Peabody LLP who represented Notorious B.I.G., LLC along with intellectual property counsel Aaron Brian and Mark Zhai.

“We are satisfied to bring this high-profile matter to an end, successfully vindicating our client’s publicity and other IP rights,” said Nixon Peabody Intellectual Property partner Staci Jennifer Trager, who led the representation of the estate in a statement. “Pictures of Christopher cannot be commercially exploited without a license from our client. The settlement agreement is a testament to the dedication of our client, as well as our team members, in staying the course over several years.”