Federal Court Green Lights Infringement Claim By Cats Designer

News   Federal Court Green Lights Infringement Claim By Cats Designer Candace Carell, the artist and designer who claims she was not properly compensated for creating the makeup designs for Cats, will get to take her case before a jury. So says the Federal District Court in Manhattan, which will hear the case once depositions have been taken and a court date is set.

Candace Carell, the artist and designer who claims she was not properly compensated for creating the makeup designs for Cats, will get to take her case before a jury. So says the Federal District Court in Manhattan, which will hear the case once depositions have been taken and a court date is set.

"She sued and the Cats producers moved to have the case thrown out" explained Carell's attorney, Russell Smith. Carell's lawyer said the court recognized "the heart of her claim...which was the copyright infringement."

Carell's side says she created the unique make up for the Cats characters, which Smith explained as involving "eight layers of make up."

"It is very elaborate, " Smith said, "and it takes several hours to put on."

Smith also said that Carell was denied due credit under the Federal Trademark Act, popularly known as the Lanham Act. Claiming that the Cats producers have brought in over "three billion dollars in worldwide grosses," Carell's lawyer says she "was never paid for her creations. Instead, she has received only $200 per week for her ongoing services in administering the application of makeup and teaching successive actors how to apply it. She has received nothing for her copyrighted designs, even after she won a battle in the Copyright Office, where an effort to cancel her copyright registration was denied."

A call to the lead attorney for the defense, David Rabinowitz, was not returned by press time.

Carell's lawyer, Russell Smith was the attorney for dramaturg Lynn Thomson in her dispute with the Larson heirs over her contributions to Rent. A settlement in that case was reached. While all parties continue to refuse to discuss details, Thomson was believed to have been satisfied with the settlement.

The numerous defendants in the Cats case include the Shubert Organization, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh, Inc. The case was dismissed as to two specific individuals, Shubert's top executive Gerald Schoenfeld and producer David Geffen, but Smith said a motion to dismiss by Andrew Lloyd Webber was denied by the court.

Smith said Carell "brought the cats in Cats to life," and that "the only issue left, really, is how much is she entitled to."