Rihanna is back in the fashion law news with yet another legal battle. The Barbados star has found herself on the wrong side of a lawsuit over her ‘S&M’ music video. Philipp Paulus, a German artist, claims that the video rips off his fashion photography series ‘Paperworld’. He has requested an injunction and a claim for damages in the suit filed in Stuttgard against both Rihanna and Universal Music Group.
The fashion exhibition ‘Paperworld’ features a woman trapped by transparent plastic wrapping with black Xs taped across. According to Paulus, Universal Music Group previously admitted some similarities between the two but the record label did not make a suitable offer to settle out of court.
His lawyer Philip Jakober noted the irony of Universal being on the other end of a copyright lawsuit – the record label is notorious for bringing copyright lawsuits itself!
“”The ludicrous thing about this situation is that Universal Music has for some time been bringing about a wave of lawsuits against end users for copyright infringements. Yet as far as our case is concerned, the usage from the photo series ‘Paperworld’ by Philipp Paulus in the music video ‘S&M’ is a serious and worldwide infringement of copyright, which is the responsibility of Universal Music.”
Should Paulpus’ lawsuit be successful, Rihanna’s music video could be banned from being broadcast. Paulus stated;
‘While I really respect Rihanna’s talents as a musician, nevertheless it is important to respect the creations of others, even young talent – and not to copy their work without legitimacy for earning money with it in order to make money.’
We suspect Universal will dig a little deeper in its pockets and will offer a more favourable settlement!
Image; Philipp Paulpus