Beyonce's latest album 'I Am... Sasha Fierce' has been on the shelves since November 2008, but an anime artist in Japan claims that it's taken this long to move forward with a lawsuit over the album's art.

Anime director Hiroshi Nagahama, mastermind behind 'Mushi-Shi' and 'Detroit Metal City,' has filed suit with production company Marvelous Entertainment against Sony Music Japan International, claiming that the art inside Beyonce's 'I Am... Sasha Fierce' features the unauthorized use of anime storyboards.

The suit, which intends to cease the sales of the album, stems from storyboards that Nagahama created to be shown during Beyonce's tour after her reps asked for the contribution. After the team decided not to use the storyboards for the tour, Nagahama signed over the copyrights to Marvelous in August '08, later discovering that Sony decided to include the images in the album art and lyrics jacket.

The group approached Sony to settle outside of court, but the conglomerate claimed that they obtained a license with an affiliate American corporation to use the storyboards. Opening statements were made in the Tokyo District Court earlier today.

"I'm actually one of the producers behind this situation. It's really terrible, and we're all pretty upset about it," said former GHD International VP Eric Calderon. "But, for a long time, there was going to be a larger animation project that we were pursuing. Unfortunately, that got canceled, but they used the artwork anyway. We tried for almost a year to settle this directly with their company, but to no avail. After that, we pursued the lawsuit, and it literally took this long. I hope Director Nagahama gets what he is properly owed! His work for this was fantastic!!!!"

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