The surviving members of Nirvana and the associated legal estates are seeking to have a lawsuit taken against the ‘Nevermind’ artwork dismissed.
The cover is one of the most famous album artworks in rock history, with a naked baby swimming after a dollar bill.
The child model was Spencer Elden, who launched legal proceedings on August 24th against Nirvana, alleging that the band violated federal pornography laws.
Accusing Nirvana of exploiting him, news of his legal action made international headlines, and sparked huge social media conversation.
Spencer Elden himself was no stranger to the debate around the cover; he frequently gave interviews on the subject, and even had it tattooed on his chest. A 2016 interview suggests that his enthusiasm had long since waned, however.
Now – as Billboard notes – a legal representative for Nirvana and the associated estates filed a motion to dismiss in a California court on December 22nd.
The filing states that the legal claim is “barred by the applicable statute of limitations,” with the lawyer adding: “Elden’s claim that the photograph on the Nevermind album cover is ‘child pornography’ is, on its face, not serious.”
Nirvana response rests on a 10 year statute of limitations, with representatives for the band arguing that Elden was clearly aware of the album cover and photograph before August 2011.
“The period runs from the time the plaintiff reasonably discovers the later of either the ‘violation’ or the ‘injury’ that ‘forms the basis of the claim,’” the lawyer writes.
The response reads:
[T]he Nevermind cover photograph was taken in 1991. It was world-famous by no later than 1992. Long before 2011, as Elden has pled, Elden knew about the photograph, and knew that he (and not someone else) was the baby in the photograph. He has been fully aware of the facts of both the supposed “violation” and “injury” for decades.
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