'Nevermind Baby' Lawsuit
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'Nevermind Baby' Lawsuit refers to a lawsuit put forth by Spencer Elden, the baby featured on the cover of the Nirvana album Nevermind, suing Nirvana and other relevant parties for $150,000 on the charge that the band is guilty of distributing his "child pornography." The lawsuit was seen as frivolous by many on social media, particularly due to the fact that Elden has been interviewed about the photo and recreated the pose numerous times in the years since the album has been released. Some social media users posted memes parodying the lawsuit by saying characters on other iconic album covers were suing the bands responsible for frivolous reasons.
On August 24th, 2021, Variety reported that Spencer Elden, the baby on the cover of Nirvana's 1991 album Nevermind, now 30 years old, was suing Nirvana for the alleged distribution of his child pornography. According to Elden's lawyer, Robert Y. Lewis, "Defendants intentionally commercially marketed Spencer’s child pornography and leveraged the shocking nature of his image to promote themselves and their music at his expense." It also alleges that Elden's parents, who were paid $200 for the photo at the time it was taken, never signed a release authorizing the use of his likeness.
Surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic are named in the lawsuit, as well as Courtney Love, photographer Kirk Weddle, art director Robert Fisher, executors of Kurt Cobain's estate, and "a number of existing or defunct record companies that released or distributed the album in the last three decades," according to Variety.
News of the lawsuit was met with skepticism and jokes from social media, as many found it hypocritical that Elden would sue the band after apparently celebrating his appearance on the album cover for years. User @Wallaceme joked, "Man portrayed as a big baby chasing money turns out to be – well…," gaining over 1,400 retweets and 7,000 likes (shown below, left). User @BadSpit implied Elden's hypocrisy by posting a collage of all the times in Elden's life he'd recreated the album cover (shown below, right).
Other users joked about the lawsuit by writing parody headlines imagining figures on famous album covers were suing the bands involved for frivolous reasons. For example, user @digitalfilth joked the baby from Rammstein's Mutter was suing the band, gaining over 300 retweets and 2,900 likes (shown below, left). User @aninchtofear made the joking using the pig on Pink Floyd's Animals, gaining over 100 retweets and 670 likes (shown below, right).
On January 3rd, 2022, Elden's case was dismissed by Judge Fernando M. Olguin, as his team missed a December 30th, 2021 deadline to respond to the Nirvana legal team's motion to dismiss the case. Nirvana's legal team called the "child pornography" claims "not serious," noting that if the photo constituted child pornography, anyone who owns a poster or album cover of Nirvana's Nevermind would be guilty of child pornography. Elden's team has until January 13th, 2022 to refile the complaint.
 Variety – Man Photographed as Baby on ‘Nevermind’ Cover Sues Nirvana, Alleging Child Pornography
 Twitter – @digitalfilth
 Twitter – @aninchtofear
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Aug 27, 2021 at 05:23PM EDT
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