The Nirvana Nevermind cover lawsuit, filed by the subject of the album art last year, has been dismissed by the ruling judge. Get the full details here.

In August last year, Spencer Elden (aka the baby on the Nevermind album cover) sued Nirvana and a number of associates. Elden, who is now in his early 30s, claimed that the image of him swimming naked in a pool was not used with proper consent, and has been tantamount to child abuse.

Suing 17 defendants for $150,000 each, Elden took on the band’s surviving members, including Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic. Courtney Love, Kurt Cobain’s widow and manager of Cobain’s estate, was also in the firing line. Others amongst the 17 accused include various record company executives, and the photographer of the original image, Robert Fisher.

The Nirvana Nevermind cover lawsuit attracted attention, not just because of the scale of the artists involved, but the somewhat tenuous case made by Elden. Claims that his image featuring on the cover resulted in damages to his education, work wages, and “enjoyment of life” were treated with suspicion. This is, largely in part, due to actions which seemingly contradict these expressed feelings. For instance, Elden has a large Nirvana tattoo, as well as recreating the album cover for its 10th anniversary with Rolling Stone.

Lawsuit Dismissal

Two weeks ago, the attorneys for the defendants, including several large record companies, filed for a dismissal of Elden’s case. Their reasoning was that Elden has, for the last three decades, been profiting from his fame as the “Nirvana baby”, and that the case was time-barred.

Judge Fernando M. Olguin dismissed the case last Monday, after Elden missed the deadline (30th December) to file an opposition to the defendants’ motion to dismiss.

This does not mean that the case is over, however. Judge Olguin dismissed the case “with leave to amend”. What this means is that Elden has a second chance to refile his complaint. If this refiling is not made before 13th January the case will then be closed “without prejudice”.