It seems Justin Bieber's upcoming album is causing some disharmony.
While fans are just hours away from the release of the pop star's sixth studio album, Justice, the record's cover art has sparked a problem between Bieber and French electronic music duo Justice.
The Grammy-winning duos' counsel sent a cease and desist letter to Bieber's lawyer and management on March 10, calling for the star to end his use of "Justice" with the cross used as a 't' that is featured in the album's cover art. In the letter, obtained by E! News, the duo argued they trademarked Justice with a cross used for the 't' in France and the European Union. The band uses a 't' styled as a cross in its logo and has performed with a cross symbol on stage.
"Your use of the Mark is illegal," the letter read. "You have not received permission from Justice to utilize the Mark. Moreover, Bieber's work is in no way affiliated with, supported by, or sponsored by Justice. Such use of the Mark is not only illegal, but likely to deceive and confuse consumers." E! News has reached out to Bieber's team for comment. Justice had no further comment.
Justice's co-manager Tyler Goldberg told Rolling Stone fans took notice of Bieber's album art. "The morning Bieber announced his album, it was pretty tough to miss," Goldberg told the website. "Aside from seeing it all over the internet ourselves, we heard from hundreds of people throughout the day—industry people, Justice fans—and the Justice guys received a ton of messages, not only compelled to point out the similarities between the Justice Justin Bieber album, but confused. 'Is this a Justice collaboration?'"
The letter also included a redacted email purportedly showing that Bieber's team reached out to Justice's agency over email in April 2020 looking to contact the designer of Justice's logo. According to the emails included in the letter, an unidentified person was later put in contact with Bieber's team. The person, whose name was redacted, responded with their availability to discuss logo design.
"Given that we have received emails from them where a member of [Bieber's] management team specifically attached the Justice logo and asked to connect with the Justice logo designer," Justice co-manager John Scholz told Rolling Stone. "They mentioned it was to work on a Justin Bieber project, they did not give us any details about it, no mention of an album called Justice or a logo using the word 'Justice.'"
Citing Justice's management, Rolling Stone reported Bieber's legal team rejected the letter and denied infringing on Justice's trademark.