Green Day have emerged victorious in a longrunning legal battle against an artist who accused the rockers of using his work without permission.

Dereck Seltzer sued the band in 2010 amid allegations the American Idiot hitmakers had used a modified image of a fang-toothed face, known as Scream Icon, during their concert performances of East Jesus Nowhere in 2009.

He claimed the piece, which he created in 2003, was copyrighted and demanded compensation for its unauthorised use after failing to reach an appropriate settlement with the group.

Seltzer was dealt a blow in 2011 when a Los Angeles judge dismissed his case and ordered him to pay the musicians' $201,000 (£134,000) legal fees, but he challenged the decision and took his argument to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in California.

However, Circuit Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain has now upheld the prior ruling, declaring Green Day are not liable for using Seltzer's illustration.

Judge O'Scannlain insisted it was a "close and difficult case", but determined the rockers' use of the Scream Icon was "transformative and not overly commercial".

He pointed out that the group had not cashed in on the imagery by using it on merchandise or promotional material, and therefore the value of Seltzer's work had not been affected.

The judge also noted that Seltzer had not been "objectively unreasonable" in filing suit against Green Day.