The drawing (not pictured) by Scott-Giles depicts the Upper circle of Hell referenced in Dante’s InfernoGESPHOTOSS/UNSPLASH

Rock band Nirvana has been sued by a relative of Sidney Sussex alumnus and British artist C W Scott-Giles for allegedly using one of his drawings on their merchandise since 1997.

Scott-Giles studied History at Sidney Sussex College between 1919 and 1922. The drawing in question, which depicts Dante’s circles of Upper Hell, was originally produced for a translation of Dante’s “Inferno”.

Jocelyn Susan Bundy, granddaughter of Scott-Giles, discovered in January of 2021 that the image had been used by the band and sold across the US in stores including Walmart and H&M.

She proceeded to sue Nirvana LLC, Live Nation Merchandise LLC and its Merch Traffic LLC unit, along with Silva Artist Management LLC for a copyright infringement last week (28/04).

Bundy argued that “the band NIRVANA and parties acting on its behalf have routinely made false claims of ownership of the copyright in the Illustration by placing false copyright notices on the Infringing Products,” and also noted in the legal documents that “Defendant NIRVANA has implied that Kurt Cobain created the Illustration.”

Scott-Giles proceeded to become an expert in heraldry, publishing several books on the topic throughout his life, as well as writing ‘A Short History’ of Sidney Sussex College in 1951.