Justin Barnes Sues OCC, Discovery Channel, Activision Over American Chopper Designs

justinbarnesatcyrilhuzeblogOn May 26, Justin Barnes, a painter artist who created many custom designs for OCC motorcycles and merchandise has filed a lawsuit against OCC, The Discovery Channel and Activision for infringement and copyright violation. Plaintiff alleges that 18 original designs were copied without his authorization and compensation and then incorporated in many types of merchandise tied into the business of OCC and American Chopper Show. It includes artworks used on the DVD covers of several seasons of the show, die-casts, mouse pads, lunch boxes, key chains and other goods that are being or have been sold by OCC or third-parties. (Justin Barnes of JB Grafix has been featured on Discovery Channel’s American Chopper, which highlighted a number of his well-known designs, including The POW-MIA Bike, The Fire Bike, The I-Robot Bike, The Comanche, The Snap-On Bike and many more). Plaintiff requests his legal action to be tried by a jury.  Grab a copy of the lawsuit by jumping HERE.  (front of a jury? I bet that if these allegatons can be proved this lawsuit is going to be settled very fast and that Justin is going to make a bunch) 

81 Responses to “Justin Barnes Sues OCC, Discovery Channel, Activision Over American Chopper Designs”

  1. 1 Grayhawk Jun 14th, 2009 at 8:52 am

    OCC may be that stupid but I doubt it, for sure Discovery and Activision are not. If Justin has a contract with said three it hopefully spells out the do’s and don’ts, if not and he, Justin performed the work incorporating same designs into the theme/image of the theme bikes and as such the very essence of the bikes and their themes they may then become one and the same.

    Thus he, Justin, may be in for a tough road as it may be deemed he willingly gave up his copywrite avenue when he did so voluntarily and with compensation for same. As the defendents may posture that the likeness of copywrite painted on the bikes by Justin and subsquently sold by Justin as images/likeness of same with Justin having full knowledge that the normal resulting business execution path by the three defendent groups has always been the proliferation of resulting themes in resulting merchandise with their associated likenesses as and being one and the same and the resulting products being a continuance of the theme/theme bike and as such the theme items.

    I again hope Justin has something in specific contractual language to protect himself against the proliferation or he may have been the naive one of the group when all is said and done and end result may not be so rewarding to him.

    Decision by three defendents to settle or let it run its course thru the court system would be based on gains/losses weighted against each other with specific contractual language or the lack of supporting their position and resulting path in case.

    But for sure all future contributing artists will enter in future agreements having both eyes wide open and in contractual ink and not just image if that was the case here. We’ll see not enough info yet to validate either point of original agreement.


  2. 2 Patrick Jun 14th, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Grayhawk. You are 100% wrong. You don’t need any agreement to protect your copyrights. Even if justin was paid for paint, it doesn’t give the right to anyone to reproduce his creations. If there is a copyright agreement, it has to be limited in time and list the medias. There was no copyright agreement and Justin is a free lance. Only a person on payroll can accept volontarery to give his copyrights to an employer. It’s not the case. Justin is going to make a lot of money and was right to bring the lawsuit after several years = more violations = more money..

  3. 3 Grayhawk Jun 14th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Patrick I hope I am, I was just a bit leary when I did not see anything in the lawsuit specific to violation of contractual points of usage, we will see. I hope he gets a bit of the action as he is a part of it.

    If I am wrong in this case it is not a bad thing but my real point behind my comment was when you enter into a deal you should do so in contract that spells out your effort, usage rights and compensation in detailed contractual language that protects you in your entirety usually if you do so you do not end up in court.

    If this was the case here it does not seem it would be going to litigation as the defendents here would be guilty of tremendous miss handling of normal business eye dotting as it is not their first rodeo. Otherwise just an off to the side opinion/comment based on very little info.



  4. 4 George G. Jun 14th, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Its about time some of the little guys who helped to make occ look so good with thier work get the due they deserve .Good Luck

  5. 5 Patrick Jun 14th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    As an original author/creator your copyrights are always protected. You just have to be certain that you can prove that you are the original creator/author. It is up to the entity using, reproducing, selling the creation to protect itself by signing an agreement with the original author. I am pretty sure that the Discovery/Activision are protected and didn’t forget to have an agreement signed by OCC where OCC certifies that they own these designs. In exchange OCC received a percentage of the merch sales. Apparently OCC received money for designs not belonging to OCC. OCC should have had the same agreement with Justin. If there is no agreement authorizing OCC to use and sell Justin’s designs, it’s going to be bloody. If it would go to trial, Justin’s lawyer will ask front of a jury how much money the Teutels made on these designs…Nothing more irritating for a jury to hear that they made millions screwing up a little guy creating/painting in his personal room, then in a 1 car garage. Discovery & Activision are going to state that they were abused, misguided by the Teutels because they were acting in good faith. They will produce their contracts with OCC. OCC is going to pay big. It’s the last season of OCC on TV. It is my prediction. But OCC is going to settle before a trial. Paul & Paul, give back to Justin the credit and the money you owe him.

  6. 6 Jim C Jun 14th, 2009 at 11:00 am

    If OCC does not have documentation protecting them from a lawsuit such as this,then their attorney,(Scott)who is on staff, needs to get booted out the door and down the street. Is Nubs next?

  7. 7 Grayhawk Jun 14th, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Patrick again hope your on the money but have doubts, you point out good possibles on 2 of the three defendents and a hope for understanding from a jury but have not stated as I know I cannot as to what was the actual contract and its specifics between any of them unless you have inside knowledge on the specifics, I do not.

    The only other point I would throw in here for others to debate before my moving on from this discussion is I am not sure the selling of merchandise with the image of a specific bike painted with a specific paint job that was compensated to/for is the same as just selling an image of the painted copywrited design as a stand alone design may just be two different issues.

    As the way one may read it is they OCC and associated companies are screening images of the bikes in their entireties on other merchandise with the paint job depicting what it is as part of the bike as a whole not so different than someone else’s wheels or whatever that are incorporated in the build up of the bike depicted from same bike on merchandise. As stated we will see.


  8. 8 Jim C Jun 14th, 2009 at 11:25 am

    OK,now that I read thru lawsuit,he didn’t file copyrights until Feb 2009? I don’t know but it seems to me that it’s kinda like closing the barn door after the cows are already out. It would seem to me that he would have had a lot better chance of winning this if he had filed when he 1st painted these designs and that he is going to lose because of this. I am sure that he had some sort of contract with OCC and was paid for his work at the time. I would also bet money that in that contract it states that OCC owns any and all rights to the work in question and was paid in full,ect. I realize people will say that Justin did all this paint work and OCC made all this money off of his work,ect,but it happens all the time and no one even heard of Justin before his appearances. Kinda like his chance to show his stuff on National TV. I am not a lawyer but it just seems like somebody else wanting something for nothing. Already got paid a fair price for his work. Now that OCC made it big and made money,now he thinks he should have made more. He should have had someone negotiating for him. Maybe the Pauls should go back to Discovery and tell them that they want more money from the 1st season as Discovery has made a lot more money that what the Tuetuls made for that 1st season. or the second season,ect. Mabe Jesse should go back and demand monre money from the 1st show of Monster Garage. What’s the difference?
    Now,I believe Justin could demand more $$$ from future projects kinda like Sanda Bullock can now demand more $$$ from future movies as her past movies have done so well. Anyway just my .02

  9. 9 J Jun 14th, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Patrick, you are correct; Grayhawk, not seeing your point thru your verbage-

    No one here knows what agreements- if any- were constructed, but safe to say if OCC has been profiting on ongoing projects as a result of Justins’ creative talents on original projects. and Justin is asking for a jury trial, then just like in the music biz, when you get caught trying to crib work without giving credit to the artist, a jury tends to find in favor of the artist, regardless of whatever “contract” Discovery, et al, manages to dig up;

    Buying a paint job doesn’t entitle you to spin off 200,000 copies of such without compensating the original artist without a specific release from said artist, and I doubt Justin signed such a release.

    BTW, look for my new website coming soon- http://www.cyrilhuzer.com – it’s one better! I’ll be selling a full line of OCD chopperwear and cyril huzer tikiwear!

    Bet Big Paul wishes he’d cut Junior in on a little bigger piece of the pie now……….

  10. 10 Wikked Kustoms Jun 14th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I spoke with Jason about the work he did for OCC when he was at the Florida Biker’s Build Off in January. He told me that he was never paid for the paint jobs he did for the theme bikes that were broadcast. OCC felt that the exposure was compensation enough and didn’t even cover the cost of the materials to do the paint job. That’s why he stopped doing them. That said, he was never compensated for his work and so, no contract.

    Food for thought.

  11. 11 Nocturnal Jun 14th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    OCC has been sued and has sued other parties in the past. This lawsuit is not the last.

    The real problem right now is the friction between the Pauls. The old man is 100% owner of OCC. Junior has always been an employee.

    Junior has no liability in any lawsuit what so ever. The main reason why they are having problems is from money issues. The old man is very, very greedy and does not want to share any of the equity/ownership and profits from OCC with junior. As of now, junior is considered a 1099 and not a direct employee of OCC. As a matter of fact it was Discovery that mediated to have junior come back to the show for filming under a new contract from Discovery directly with junior and not from OCC.

    BTW…and speaking of lawsuits……did anybody hear what the outcome of the Big Bear lawsuit that was listed here by Mr.Huze out of NY was?? Thanks.

  12. 12 Drake Jun 14th, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Junior is fine. Senior is nothing without Junior and he is an asshole.

  13. 13 CCC Jun 14th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    What comes around goes around…Junior would have interest to dissociate himself from his father. He is still very young. Senior is probably the most disliked individual in the custom motorcycle industry. And I am not talking about money jealousy…I am talking about his personality.

  14. 14 isaac Jun 14th, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    Paul Sr. lacks any imagination and he takes himself way too serious. He constantly say’s I’m O.C.C.. The truth is without Jr.’s creativity and Vinnie’s fabrication the show would have not lasted one season. Their family bickering is entertaining but is was the final products that people tuned in week after week to see.

    The old man has a short fuse and If he keeps barking at Rick, the only real talent left at O.C.C., he’s going to find himself very lonely. By the way does anybody know exactly WHAT Jr.’s Design company will be “designing”?

    Bikes, clothes or Logos???????

  15. 15 Grayhawk Jun 14th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Guess if Wikked’s statement is a fact and I state or know not of any reason its not; the real lessons learned here for all you talented artists, builders etc. that are just getting established or not your work is worth something exposure aside and agreed upon performance of work should be documented and reviewed by someone with your interest in mind. Man I wish him well but if he agreed to do said paint jobs with only an acknowledgement of exposure as payment I just do not believe he has much of a chance. Unfair or not imho.

    If nothing exists inline with Justin’s position or exclusive rights limiting or restricting any sale of likeness or facimilies of his work in a collective work he just may not win.

    The fact it was noted in the lawsuit language as noted in a comment above that he filed for Copywrite after the date of commission of work was just a requirement by the court for jurisdiction before he could file his lawsuit proper, not resolving of copywrite or not just a court required formality. So that did not hurt or help his position in itself.

    Food for thought

    A “collective work” is a work, in which a number of contributions, constituting separate and independent works in themselves, are assembled into a collective whole.

    Noting; OCC sold facsimiles of the collective work not his graphic.

    A “compilation” is a work formed by the collection and assembling of preexisting materials or of data that are selected, coordinated, or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship. The term “compilation” includes collective works.

    Noting; Court may deem the collective work is the bike itself by OCC.

    “Copyright owner”, with respect to any one of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright, refers to the owner of that particular right.

    If Court again deems the bike as a whole is the work being reproduced and not paid/commissioned/agreed upon art work for exposure inclusive in the bike as a whole he may not win.

    A “transfer of copyright ownership” is an assignment, mortgage, exclusive license, or any other conveyance, alienation, or hypothecation of a copyright or of any of the exclusive rights comprised in a copyright, whether or not it is limited in time or place of effect, but not including a nonexclusive license.

    A “work made for hire” is —

    (2) a work specially ordered or commissioned for use as a contribution to a collective work, as a supplementary work, as a compilation , if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire.

    Noting; In this case maybe only an acknowledged verbal agreement is binding if in fact that is all that exists.


  16. 16 Jim C Jun 14th, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Grayhawk <i am not a lawyer so this is just my opinion,but whatyou have stated above makes sense to me and I think that is why Justin will lose this lawsuit. If he wins,it will open a whole can of worms with a lot of different things and I am not talking about just OCC. I hope the outcome is something that is FAIR to all concerned.

  17. 17 Nocturnal Jun 14th, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    No offense to you Grayhawk………but are you a lawyer?? Have you ever practiced law before??

    You are dissecting a legal document that we all have read and have different interpretations on the matter.

    I can assure you that Justin’s lawyer knows exactly what he is doing……………..we need to let things roll out and see what happens.

    Spare us with the obvious.

  18. 18 Grayhawk Jun 14th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    No offense taken or given Nocturnal its a blog. I just wish that lawyer that knows exactly what he is doing would have been there for Justin upfront. I merely pulled excerpts that imho may or be applicable to this posting in my last comment obvious or maybe not so obvious. but yes subject to interpretation. Seeing how your closer to this than I based soley on your ability to give assurances on his lawyer I hope your right and I am wrong. Those that want to be spared my obvious please feel free to scroll past my comments.

  19. 19 nicker Jun 14th, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Legal issues over copyright material are becoming more difficult to adjudicate. For example, friend in the advertisement industry say that adds they create in their ad-publication belong to them, evnrthough the ads were created for and paid for by customers who wanted to advertise a service or product. A customer who tried to pull an add design off the publication to use on a business card were issues a cease and desist order.

    In the IT game since the beginning of WWW, Web page developers routinely claim copy wright ownership of the pages they design for other people.

    Today, “mash-up” artists have routinely combine many parts of different published music. Don’t know of an instance where the courts have stopped such activity.

    The point is that ownership of “intellectual property” is an evolving concept.
    But IMHO. something else is in play here.

    Erroneously saying “….ya i designed and built that…” is the intellectual equivalence of saying “…ya, i used to ride a bike to high school…” when all ya rode was a peddle-bike.

    Regarding OCC, (or anyone else for that matter)…… the principle issue here is integrity and credibility.

    How do ya put a price tag on that….????


  20. 20 madpuppy Jun 15th, 2009 at 6:52 am

    Damn, does this mean I have to give back my OCC lunch Box ?

  21. 21 jatinder pal Jun 15th, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I had read all the above posts…and came to know that Justin was not even paid a penny to do paintjobs,poor fella…

    TV coverage is fine but u have to get money to pay ur dues,hardly a customers would had contacted justin after watching his work to give him work,no offence the guy is talented,but u need money.justin did good thing if he had dumped OCC…

  22. 22 MIKEOUT Jun 15th, 2009 at 8:32 am

    My hats off to Justin for standing up to Discovery channel and OCC.

  23. 23 MM Billetworks Jun 15th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Quite a few manufacturers are aware that OCC requests free “product” in exchange for air time on their show. Some accept, some simply decline.

    Justin is a talented painter!

  24. 24 Jerry Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    Since a long time to appear on the show of OCC is not any help but a biz handicap.

  25. 25 Nocturnal Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:13 am

    The reason why Justin was “removed” from the show was due to the fact that Sr. did not want to pay him. He wanted to barter his services for TV time. Sr. then turned to NUB and brought him back under the same conditions. Since then, Nub is no longer with OCC as well due to non-payment. OCC decided to bring in a painter in-house. Nub is working out of his barn in back of his house and is doing quite well. As so is Justin.

    Justin has been trying to settle this issue for over two years with the lawyers. The offer that OCC has made him he feel it is unacceptable. There is also a lot more to it in the background as well.

    Now you know why the suit has been brought on.

    Just about everybody with any talent has left the show. Sr. is scrambling to keep things afloat with the cast. The show has literally turned into a joke the last year or so.

    We shall see what happens.

  26. 26 Danny Flucke Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    OCC’s business plan was genius. Companies could get an hour “infomercial” guaranteed to reach millions of viewers for $100,000 – While the Discovery Channel footed all production and distribution costs.

    And it worked very well – Until now.

    It seems the original designs are gone. Any of us could order those parts – Spend a few weekends in the garage – Pick up the tins from a custom paint shop – And have our own “custom” OCC bike.

    Duplicate the “Black Widow” or “Fire” bikes – No way. Duplicate that lame “Woodstock” bike – Too easy.

    OCC’s business model needs to change and fast. The viewer base is declining – And without those millions of eyes – The plan doesn’t work.

    (I have my own ideas but will save them for future VC meetings…)

    Getting back to topic – Its pretty clear Justins lawsuit is the result of a loophole found and exploited. The very, very late copyright filings and the time elasped points to nothing more than a money grab.

    If Justin didn’t have the brains or balls to negotiate what he wanted upfront – And sees this as his way of getting paid – Then so be it.

    The court/attorneys will decide how much his talent is worth – Or if it’s worthless.

    OCC and Paul Sr seem to be portrayed as the villians here.

    The alternative is very simple. Cough up the cash and buy OCC.

    Then you can bring back/bring in your own talent with huge contacts and run things your way.

    Work hard and ride safe, Danny

  27. 27 Nocturnal Jun 15th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Let’s face it, Sr. is cheap………Dee left after the first episode, Vinnie left, Cody left, Campo left, Justin left, Nub left, Junior is halfway out. They all left because the old man did not want to pay them. He thinks that he is a celebrity and he wants you to work for free.

    The great american rip-off……………………Paul Sr.

  28. 28 Walt Lumpkin Jun 15th, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Most painters (and musicians) have a Pollyanna view of the world and this childish outlook ususally is devoid of any business accumen what so ever. They are so eager for some exposure that they will do anything and sign any agreement without the benefit of legal advice.

    If I hire a painter to create a work of art for me I own the work in its entirety unless previously stipulated (My opinion). A properly drawn contract may limit how I may use the image or how many times I may duplicate it, etc.

    I don’t know Justin but if I were sitting on that jury he would not get a dime. Apparently he made a deal, free paint for TV exposure. At some point he realizes he made a bad deal and wants to renegotiate long after the work is complete. At some point he cuts his loses. He should just move on because he is good at what he does and this grabbing for the dollar would make me leery of him doing any work for me.

    I also have never understood a point alluded to above about an artist, ad agency, webmaster, etc that is commissioned to do a job, is paid for that job but then tries to lay perpetual claim to what I consider a bought and paid for product. Businesses have to protect themselves against this ludicrous assumption with legal help.

    Also it is not unusual for manufacturers to provide parts free of charge to high exposure bike builders. A lot of industries provide products to movie and TV productions for the exposure. Just check the credits after a movie or TV show.

  29. 29 Sidewinder Jun 15th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    It’s really become an embarrasment as far as how people view bike builders and the industry as businessmen. The Teutals are a soap opera now. Great concept in the beginning – OCC, WCC/Jesse shows, & the biker build-offs were great. Brought attention to the industry & what kind of talent is out there.
    Now look at it. Vinnie & Cody started their own bike shop.Lawsuits flying (even Leno supposedly sued OCC over the bike they built him & the wiring problems). Billy Lane issues. TITAN/AIH bankrupt, Big Dog hanging on. It just makes the whole industry look bad in a time when economy sucks & we need a positive image to grow.

  30. 30 Ron Jun 15th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    The show will be over very soon. Paul Jr. created his design company, and for his first client is designing a grill! Paul Sr. tries to get another gig, another type of reality show. It’s over my friends. It’s over. Sigh of relief.

  31. 31 John Magee Jun 15th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    I took part in 3 Biker Buildoff shows on Discovery Channel, made it on-screen in one. My parts were used in all 3, and a few others. The company was VERY thorough about having releases for every identifiable bit of intellectual property that showed up on tape, even if it wasn’t used in the final production, down to posters on the walls and designs and logos on T-Shirts. I saw a few shows where posters and T-shirts were blurred out, and I presume that was because they couldn’t get releases from the owner and they didn’t want to discard that particular bit of tape. The releases were quite thorough, left me with no rights to anything, and no recourse about anything. I’m having a hard time imagining that they did not do the same for the OCC shows.

  32. 32 Jeff Nicklus Jun 15th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    This is a fight Justin can’t win! His only hope is to become such an annoyance that he is paid to go away. I have been on enough TV and DVD’s that I can tell you he signed a release with both OCC, the production company and the network before anything ever aired with any of his work or his face on the TV.

    Over & Out,


  33. 33 Nocturnal Jun 15th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I’ve never come across so many lawyers in my life…….

    Maybe you guys should start your own law firm…….”Gitttem, Doolittle, Stallem and Deelay”

  34. 34 C Jun 15th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    I hope Justin wins his case… you would think that all the money that occ makes, they would take care of the people behind the scenes that make a bike memorable. (They want everything for nothing) The paint on any bike is the first thing that people see, and attracts them for a closer look at a bike. Paul Jr is a hell of a fabricator and I respect his work. His dad on the other hand, is a to the core prick and nobody likes his antics. I emailed them see if they might be interested in my baffles since baffle laws are tight there and Sr. emailed me saying that if I submit them anything, it becomes their property. WHAT A LOAD OF SHIT! He is a “self centered legend in his own mind” and nothing to most everybody else. You reap what you sew! Take’em to the cleaners Justin!

  35. 35 pablo Jun 15th, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Occ ran a loose ship back in the begining, before Scott the attorney was on board…A lot of vendors supplied parts, designs and services to get the media exposure…however the tuttles played that card in there favor…plus charged there clients big doe!!! Maybe justin just came out of the contact high from the paint or the weed…and has a greety attorney that is looking foe some cash! You know what they call 100 attorneys at the bottom of the ocean…a good start!!!


  36. 36 Walt Lumpkin Jun 15th, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    What’s up with the hate of free enterprise. Sr. might be an ass, Jr. might be talented. Just because other people agreed to pay a lot of money for a bike built by OCC and the vendors willingly supplied free or heavily discounted products and services why disparage the man for cutting a great deal for himself.

    He owes no one anymore than they agreed to receive for whatever product or service they provided. He owes his empoyees no more than their paycheck.

    Having said all of the above a good employer will strive to keep his employees happy when times are good so they will be loyal when times are bad.

    I was suprised that Jr. had no equity stake in the business or a personal services contract with Discovery. Jr.’s fab talent is the greater element of OCC’s success. Being a grouch with no one to bitch at will not last long on TV.

    Good luck to Jr.

  37. 37 john reed Jun 15th, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    I think this is a normal situation. in the bad side of the motorcycle industry .
    In my opinion there are business men and creators.
    The creators are not very good at business, and the businessmen cant create things, both usually think they can but neither will not reach their full potential if they try.
    For the ultimate results they must work as a team, with each giving input only in their own area of expertise,
    But they are different animals ,and most times they dont understand each other and unless they learn how to their partnership will fail
    The creators specialty is making things ..usually he has an artistic temperament , works on emotion, and if he can gets enough money to do what he wants , with a bit extra to keep his wife happy, he is happy.
    . The business man doesn’t make things, his specialty is persuading other people to make things for him, as cheap as possible with the biggest profit..
    At the start of the relationship, they are usually both happy, but eventually the businessman who has no idea how much effort goes into making things , keeps pushing and pushing and soon
    the creator cant supply enough stuff to keep him happy. he doesn’t want to pay him more money so he starts thinking emotionally, and tries to get more and more with intimidation,
    The Creator gets burned out , he has to working his ass off covered in crap 7 days a week , and he watches the business man sitting on his ass in his office getting ten times more than him, so he tries to re negotiate to get what he thinks he deserves The business man is the expert in this area so he gets little, This the beginning of the end.. the creator spends the rest of his life thinking that hes been screwed .
    To the businessman its just business he tells everyone he fired him because he has a shittty attitude and then he looks around for someone else he can cultivate to make his stuff until he burns him and on and on.
    john reed

  38. 38 mbofill Jun 15th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    whats the matter justin since the economy is down your gonna try to cash in on occ’s success? why havent you filed a claim years ago when you got dumped for you trying to do too much and not complying to the time elements that were needed? nub got his great beginnings there and you could have too…go back to the meth or crack you run out of dude. work like a real man and do it for yourself!!!!!

  39. 39 Grayhawk Jun 15th, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Nocturnal, I did my usually polite response the first time you threw the lawyer card but just because people do not agree with your bias stance as it is evident your close to the young man or the situation doesn’t mean there are not other valid points of consideration.

    I have said I hope I am wrong as I feel sorry for the youngster going into something naively especially since he is purported to have made the same naive agreement 18 times per the posting.

    When I say I would like to see him get paid real money it does not mean I think he is right, again just opinioned he screwed himself out of money and as Jeff said he probably will get something just to go away.

    That also does not mean I want him to win a law suit from the standpoint it effects every builder in the future after the fact after agreed upon payment for work whatever the payment.

    Doesn’t mean I agree with Sr. either as when is enough enough and one can throw a few bones to a start up, but business agreements should stand as agreed unless fraudulent or deceptive.

    I do think as I alluded to a couple times that I do not think Justin could win if the case goes to court and as Jim C. among others picked up on it also meant I do not think he should win a decision specifically because if everytime one of you builders outsource work that becomes a part of your motorcycle or what ever your building to market you had better dot all eyes as if a precedent is set in this case that everytime you as a business person add to your market options you have to go back and pay residuals on portions of work or fight it in court on work you have already paid for is nuts and if Justin stays in the business it may hurt him more in the long run as builders may be leary of what he may or may not want additionaly in the future after they had made a deal with him and from a customer stand point he may quote you one price and then want more money than he said to do the work after he gets into it, you make a deal you honor the deal. If it is a naive deal you learn from it.

    Do not think Justin is that kind of guy but that may be the message that is getting sent here. Not lawyer sense common sense.


  40. 40 James( Kiwi) Jun 16th, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Never trust someone who wears shades in the dark and a wife beater in the snow.
    Basically he’s a weirdo!!

    Hey Jeff what are Custom Chrome 4 speed box’s like ? thats whats in the KN Bobber I though it might have been a liitle more up market than that.

    Your thoughts anyone

    James Kiwi

  41. 41 dragon Jun 16th, 2009 at 5:53 am

    just wonder if occ is going to cursing in court like they did on the show

  42. 42 Jeff Nicklus Jun 16th, 2009 at 9:32 am


    I assume you are talking to me?????

    Can’t say what the Custom Chrome 4 Speed box’s are like … we don’t use them? Sorry.

    Over & Out,


  43. 43 MCBill Jun 16th, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    As I read through this thread, I think a few folks are missing the point.

    Justin agreed to do work for OCC. In return he received national exposure via the Discovery Channel. So far so good. No problems. Both sides got what they wanted and agreed to.

    However, once OCC took those designs, and allowed them to be marketed in other products, they have infringed on Justin’s copyright.

    While OCC and DC may have insulated themselves from recourse for Justin’s services in painting the bike, it appears no such agreement may have been extended to the additional marketing and sales of products using his designs.

  44. 44 JSDiamond Jun 16th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I am an artist. A copyright does not have to be filed for, applied for, or paid for –it is a right of ownership that exists entirely and only by your having created the work. You don’t even have to put a little “c” in a circle either; nor do you need to mail a copy of the art to yourself in a registered envelope or engage in any other urban myth about rights.

    When you SELL your work without defining the rights, you are selling ALL rights to it. Thus, if Justin was paid a fair rate for custom paint, then he *was* paid fairly and he has no claim. He sold all rights to his artwork when he cashed the checks.

    The Teutel’s lawyer only has to ask this one question to get the suit thrown out: “How were you treated unfairly?”

  45. 45 Jeff Nicklus Jun 17th, 2009 at 10:01 am

    JSDiamond is exactly correct …. Justin doesn’t have a leg to stand on here …. he and his attorney are simply trying to extort some $$$$ out of the Teutels …. nothing more.

    Over & Out,


  46. 46 nicker Jun 17th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    Jeff & JSD,

    Are you-all saying that if S&S gave OCC a motor then OCC could reverse engineer it and legally put a duplicate on the market under the OCC logo………. ???

    Isn’t that the about the same as scanning a paint job and running off copies on thousands of lunch boxes…???

    If i buy a CAD application, without a special copy license, i don’t get to legally run copies on all the computers in my shop. Not last time i asked anyway.

    Isn’t this his issue with OCC all about copying intellectual property….???


  47. 47 Woody Jun 18th, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Nicker, Justin probably should’ve done what the other companies you mention did; spell out in miles of fine print what the details and conditions of the “sale” were.
    Nothing against Justin, in the spirit of the law he probably did get screwed, but now it’s up to the courts to determine who the letter of the law supports.

  48. 48 Jeff Nicklus Jun 18th, 2009 at 10:03 am


    I have had to deal with this crap from painters for years, even the painters I employ on a full time basis. This is the way my attorney’s have explained it to me and so far I have managed to stay out of trouble.

    If I go to an outside the company painter and tell them I want a “Demonic Whale theme” paint job, for example, on a bike and we agree on a price to paint the bike with the “Demonic Whale Theme”, and upon completion of the paint job, and my satisfaction, the painter is paid the fee we agreed upon, I then own any copyrights that may exist on such paint job. I am then free to do as I please with that paint job ….. print poster, lunch boxes or authorize a tattoo on some fat chicks butt ….. whatever. Further, if the painting was created by one of my employees I own the copyright from the get-go so that is not an argument.

    The S&S engine question is much different. Many people have reverse engineered an S&S engine and we all know who those people are, however, during the reverse engineering process violation of any copyrights would only be considered if the S&S Logo was used on the “New” product. If, however, during the reverse engineering process any “Patents” that S&S may possess were violated then that becomes another problem. Also, only slight cosmetic changes need to be made to the “reversed” engine and all is well ………..

    As for the CAD issue ….. you and I and everyone else who owns a legal CAD package signs an agreement, during the purchase process, wherein we agree to the “Usage and Distribution Policy” of the provider. Should we violate that agreement that would indeed be considered a Copyright Violation.

    One more thing ….. in Texas, and I have no idea whether this holds true in New York or not, there exists a statute of limitations of a two (2) year time period in which a “damaged party” has to bring a suit. The clocks starts ticking once the person realizes they have been damaged. If this is brought in Federal Court, and I assume considering this is a Copyright Infringement case, (even though it could be a state copyright case as well) I have no idea about any statutory requirements??????

    Unless Justin didn’t receive the agreed upon renumeration then it is my opinion he is simply trying to cash in …… but what the hell do I know?????

    Over & Out,


  49. 49 Joe Jun 18th, 2009 at 10:17 am

    All I know is the $50 bottle of OCC cologne I got for Christmas smells like goat piss.

  50. 50 nicker Jun 19th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Thanks jeff,
    Guess that covers it.


  51. 51 B-17 Biker Jun 21st, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    All I know is the show blows and the bikes are lame.

  52. 52 Jack Jun 26th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Off Topic

    But whats wiyh Mikey and the Digital Electric shirt
    OVER and OVER again

  53. 53 SKiLLa Jul 25th, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Well, all these interpretations & assumptions are fine, but without the exact details to back it up, it’s all worthless gossip. When no contracts are signed I guess it’s a case of “fair use – fair compensation”; which might not be the case here (as JB implies that OCC forced the “TV exposure” deal upon him after the finished produkt was delivered, on previously agreed terms).

  54. 54 Q Manning Oct 15th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    The way the show works plays into his favor. The guys never really have much of an idea what they want, they tell their painters colors broad, over-arching themes, and then let the painter do whatever he wants.

    There’s little give and take, no design approval process, which means the painters coming up with the bulk of the creativity. He should get a nice, big settlement and deserves to.

    I think a lot of the other vendors could do the same thing as well, frankly.

  55. 55 Captain Steve Nov 9th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Jack Jun 26th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    Off Topic

    But whats wiyh Mikey and the Digital Electric shirt
    OVER and OVER again

    I was watching a recent episode and noticed that Mickey had that shirt on. The logo looked almost identical to the logo for Junior’s new venture (the crown). It looks to me like Junior copied it. Hmm

  56. 56 bruce Dec 16th, 2009 at 5:21 am

    Can the same thing be said for the company that supplies the paint to ?Justin ?

  57. 57 Zaisermama Dec 17th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    What does it say on the back of those Digital Electric shirts?

  58. 58 reply Dec 18th, 2009 at 1:08 am

    What does it say on the back of those Digital Electric shirts?

    It’s not impossible, it just costs more.

    I am watching an old episode where Vinnie and Mikey are in Australia and he is wearing one even that far back.

  59. 59 Zaisermama Dec 21st, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks….that has been bugging me!

  60. 60 Henry Dec 23rd, 2009 at 11:21 am

    I have to chime in here. I MUST say that the pool shark chick that ordered the Paul Sr. version of the “Black Widow” Bike was ripped off no matter what she paid! What an ugly bike! The bike was presented to her and her hubby on some side street to hide the embarrasment. I almost never comment, but this bike was horrid. If I was Paul Jr., I would sue the old fart for his poor attempt at lifting the spider web design from him. Mikey is the last child to stop speaking to the old douche, he should give up on him and try to realize that he will never change and try to find something else to do besides please and entertain his dad. Paul Sr’s Mom pretends to like him cuz he is supporting her Im sure. Sr. will be an old sick dying man with no friends or family…or money if he keeps putting out all this bad karma.
    Jr. should team up with the OCC talent and crush daddy. Side note: Jr. needs to separate his work and his girlfriend asap! He will eventually begin treating her like his dad treats him during business hours, genectics at work here! He wont be able to help himself and I doubt that she will be too patient while she awaits her promised botique that aint never comin.

  61. 61 B Jan 25th, 2010 at 3:38 am

    I’ve always heard Justin and other painters were not paid for their work by OCC, as was posted here as well. Today I saw a rerun of the episode where sr takes the David Mann bike back from Justin. During a later conversation Sr gets on the phone to tell his guy to stop the check, refusing to pay Justin for the work he did up to that point.

    It seems odd that Sr would pretend to be paying him for the cameras–even if it were just to act like more of a big shot by “stopping” the payment, so I wondered if anyone had inside or first/second hand knowledge on the “check” he mentioned?

  62. 62 CPP3 Jun 8th, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Just read B’ s comment… I think you are on to something there.

    IMHO to comment some earlier postings:

    I have worked by sides of litigations like this. Much depends upon the judges and (not OR) juries.

    I have seen civil trials that go right into the deep pockets of the monetary beneficiary of someone else’s work, even if the worker/artisan was well paid. Many times the larger more prosperous firm loses no matter what , if there is no specific terminology/verbage in a contract.

    Product licensing usually has to be clearly spelled out in the contract, in order for a complaintant to prevail, with conservative juries.

    However, liberal juries are usually more emotional (sensible?) and tend to punish larger companies who benefit UNFAIRLY from the sweat of another’s brow; especially if the jury feels that the larger company took advantage by not offering at least some form of revenue sharing; if this were customary under the normal course of business.

    Often a ‘large company’ can lose a suit simply because the company FAILed to provide protection for a contract contibutor/worker/artisan within the company’s own contract. It is often the jury’s perception of what is a reasonable fiduciary responsibility or reasonable contractual protection for the property rights of a contract contributor/atrisan , as provided by the ‘large company’ that makes the difference.

    Greed is not well received by most juries dealing with collaborations and compensation unless it is clearly define in advance, and the contributors waive their rights to royalties, by licensing agreements.

  63. 63 MrRB Jun 10th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    It’s interesting then that Justin specifically asked for jury in his lawsuit.

    Now that Paul Srs popularity is at an all time low and so many previously loyal fans think he’s so greedy he would put money before his own sons, even suing Jr for a million dollars, it’s a good climate for Justin to sit this thing in front of a jury.

    Even if Justin agreed initially to provide free labour so his art could be seen in the first series of the show, the question might be “did Justin agree to give OCC all merchandising rights to put his art on all their future products?”

    If I was on that jury he’d be getting a big fat compensation…

  64. 64 jim Jul 16th, 2010 at 2:38 am

    SR is a greedy pompous ASS for trashing his sons in the name of profit. he should go get professional help, then make peace with his sons, and all the rest of the artists who got him where he is today. Otherwise they all will get consumed in the bull**** that is to come

  65. 65 Shawn Jul 26th, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I can’t wait until the Sr vs Jr starting in August, Nubs will be painting and we might even see vinny but paul will have to outsource alot of the projects as they did in the early series. I think the show should start with jr building a bike called the Ultimate Black Widow and if jr goes all out then its over for occ. Jr might rack up enough money to buy occ or atleast the machinery they have.

  66. 66 Paddy'O Oct 8th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    What saddens me is Paul Sr. KNOWS he should be rigorous in sustaining his Sobriety !! He acts Spiritually Corrupt when he denegrates his sons. If ALL your children are estranged…..the common denomenator
    is yourself. Sr. needs to look inward at His Part…..the only part he CAN control, least he become just a “dry drunk”. After 22 years sobriety ( I’ld rather have a cigarette than a drink) I struggle with being honest with myself and staying IN the moment. If Sr. falls ill…most would pick on the son’s for not rushing to Dad’s side…..when Paul Sr. will have to reap what HE has sown.

    Oh, Justin deserves everything he can get for his work.
    As does Nub.

  67. 67 johnson beath Oct 8th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    mikey is a fucking slug; if it weren’t for Sr. and Jr. he’d be flipping fucking burgers at Mickey D’s if he were luck enough.

  68. 68 will Oct 28th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    whatever happened with this lawsuit? did OCC and Discovery channel pay up? Did Justin win??

  69. 69 FLIPPER Nov 3rd, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Johnson B — You have nothing better to write, you have to crap on Mikey?!?! Not everyone can be as cool as you. He MAKES that damn show. He’s very funny and very intelligent. Take a good look at Mikey folks, because that’s what genius looks like. He would leave everyone in that shop in the dust, if they gave them all IQ tests. You gotta love that the internet gives every bonehead a voice and an open license to talk shit about people.
    I think you should have to put in your name and address in order to make “comments”. That would slow down all the idiots and tough guys.
    Justin deserves a nice big chunk of money. I hope he gets everything that he wants. I hope nub jumps on that as well. They are both very talented. GOOD LUCK JUSTIN, GO GET ‘EM!!!!!!!!

  70. 70 rick Nov 14th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Just look at what happened to pee wee herman, and…..steve….the illegal alien.

  71. 71 Dave Dec 5th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    You all are making this (as is Justin and his lawyers) much more difficult then it really is. The law is simple but as with most cases, a judge will have to decide the out come. But the fact is, once you pay for a product, that product becomes yours. And you can do with it what you wish (within reason). If you take a movie or a song, you can take that movie or song and let others watch/hear it as long as you do not make any money from doing so. In the case of Justin’s paint jobs, even by reproducing a likeness of his paint jobs on say shirts or lunchboxes, its not enough to claim copyright infringement as it does not take money away from Justin’s business. If this wasnt the case then even something as simple as taking a photo of something and selling it on ebay would put a person in danger of being sued by the camera manufacturer because its their camera you used to take the picture. This is but a failed attempt to milk some money outta OCC

  72. 72 Chris Dec 17th, 2010 at 2:28 am

    Its kind of disturbing how so many people are so quick to say artists and designers rip off businesses. Im a graphic designer for a living and when a client pays me to design something, they’re payong me to design and provide a final file for them in a printable format. This doesn’t mean they they can have my native files to use on anything they want. An ad design gets an ad design; not a changeable file that the client can make changes to. Clients pay more money to own a design outright.

    If you own an original Picasso, owning it doesn’t give yiu the legal rights to produce and make money off of it. You simply have the rights to profit off the original. When you purchase a house or a car, that doesn’t give you the rights to own the artist’s blueprints and schematics. Same goes for a website. There are legal documents and laws that protect artists from getting their work stolen.

    As for Justin, if he did any of his work on Sr’s property, it would be considered ‘work for hire’. And i highly doubt that he wasn’t paid for his time while he was there. But if his work was used in apparel designs or other merchandise, that’s an entirely different ballgame.

    I can only say that everyone should remember that there are 2 sides to every story and Justin could be an idiot who signed a contract or a brilliant painter who could get a huge payday.

  73. 73 jimi Jan 7th, 2011 at 1:17 am

    Hi all.

    I jsut have a couple of questions about the family. How did paul and mikey grow up? Did they have access to there fathers tools and knowledge? What is that worth? I know that everone hates Paul Sr. but in the same respect he did build all of his business from scratch and worked his whole life to get where he is. I am a very talented welder and fabricator and want to be rich as well but i dont have a father that has already made it big and has the assets to give me a big break like Pauls children. I am not saying that Paul Jr. is not talented or a great fabricator with wicked ideas but in the same respect what has he done in his life to earn what he thinks he should get. All his father wants is a hard worker that knows things are better earned than gifted. Easy come easy go i say.

  74. 74 WILDMAN Jan 19th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Ok Folks: Here is my opinion on the whole subject of these lawsuits! I’m not an attorney or expert in the matter, BUT! It all comes down to what is in paper!!! If it’s in black & white, then it is set un stone ! Unless there was some act of deception or fraud , it comes down to how smart that you or your attorney were when you negotiated the contract! That’s it! If it was a fair contract & both sides agreed to it & endorsed as such, it stands as written! On the other hand, if there were any “oral” contracts or “perceived ” contracts agreed on & were not abided by, Then there will & should be a lawsuit! BUT! here is the kicker folks, It’s not what is said by either parties or their representatives that was agreed upon, IT’S WHAT YOU CAN PROVE or DISPROVE IN COURT!!! That’s it! End of story! Period! Thanks for listening to my unbiased opinion on the matter! Good Luck to all who were mislead!!! Wildman from Missouri

  75. 75 Edmund Jan 28th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Now that OCC is closing down?, why all the chirping. please back off !!!

  76. 76 Mary Jan 28th, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    I am in early retirement due to health issues and I watch the re-runs of the show everyday. Many times I’m sewing and listening. I have sided with both Paul Sr. and Paul Jr. Basically I’ve come to this conclusion on both of them. Both men treat each other with disrespect and both men are wrong. The dysfunction in that family is obvious to me. (Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysfunctional_family). Also, I can appreciate the opinion that Mikey is a slug as well as a genius. He is quite worthless in making money but lets face it, a genius naps all day and still gets paid. In the dysfunctional family dynamics, Mikey is the scapegoat, and is probably in worst shape than the other two loud-mouthed egomaniacs. I wrote to Paul Sr. when the show first aired. I basically stated that I supposed that Paul Jr. got his self-esteem from another family member, as it was obvious to me that Paul Sr. was crushing his son from the start. That being said, Paul Jr. is no angel and says things that are JUST AS HURTFUL as his father says. Thank you for allowing me to state what I think. Mary

  77. 77 Bob B Jan 29th, 2011 at 9:12 pm

    The walruses aging flabby arms are showing now. Time to cover up A**hole. 4 Kids and none talk to him and I was told in a recent episode he said he IS the victim. What a peace of whale dung. He is so jealous of his own kid he’s nauseating.

  78. 78 Joshin Apr 18th, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    The bottom line is they all meaning Paul Sr, Paul Jr. and Mikey . And all the old crew: Vinny,Rick, Cody and I’m sure I left out some that should get credit too. When the money problems started all
    Paul Sr. cared about was his self. Making sure he still had it all and to hell with family or anyone else. And the sad thing is that if you don’t have family you don’t have anything.I hope they will get there problems resolved. And that Paul Sr. will admit he was wrong as were Paul Jr. for things he could have prevented. As far as Mikey he has his problems , but aleast he seems be be the only one who really cares about the family and wants to end all the mess.

  79. 79 PixelPete Apr 28th, 2011 at 2:02 am

    As a Graphic Artist in business for over 20 years now in Florida, heres my 2 bits. Whenever I have done custom work for a ‘major’ corporation, they ALWAYS have me assign copyright and agree to a non-retention (also called a copyright waiver). Thats the short version. Some of them are mutli-billion dollar household names. I talked to their lawyers about specifics many, many, many times so I am sure the info is correct.

    If JB did not sign any waivers or other legal agreements, I would be surprised if OCC doesnt end up handing him a boatload of money BUT I thinks its wrong. They paid him for a service (and probably paid him well) let it go.

    Personally, some of my best corporate clients have been smaller companies that were ignorant about these issues. After I educated them and signed my own waiver, they LOVE me and have shown loyalty because of it.

    JB is a gifted painter artist, but if he is doing this out of greed, he will likely never work in the graphics industry again – IMO.


  80. 80 Tarzan Jul 22nd, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    We’re watching a guy who can’t spell “copyright” argue with a guy who insists he knows how the case should be ruled, even though neither of them are lawyers. Neither of them have even read the employment agreements in force between the parties, or the publication and publicity agreements between the artist and the publishers.

    This is what the Internet is all about!

  81. 81 jjonzz Oct 16th, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    I am glad that so many legal experts took time out from their busy schedules to let us know what to expect from this case. Has it been resolved? As of October 2011 we can now see clearly that Paul senior is the asshole.

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Cyril Huze