Rhianna is reportedly suing Topshop for selling T-shirts with pictures of her face without her consent. The Barbados star has been involved in legal action against Philip Green’s fast fashion retail giant for more than a year but negotiations to settle the case have been unsuccessful. Her management team had asked the fashion store several times to stop selling her image but Topshop allegedly refused to remove the image.
“They buy the pictures from a photographer, but they do not pay the artist licensing fees. Unfortunately, UK law does not protect the artist,” the source told the New York Post .
The source is correct. In the United States the right of publicity gives the right to control the commercial use of one’s image. The right has been recognised in a number of US states since the 1950′s and is mostly invoked by celebrities who find their likeness used to promote goods and services without their permission. However, the right doesn’t exist in England or Ireland. If Topshop, or the third party supplier from whom they purchased the T-shirt, paid the original photographer for the image, they are not breaking the law.
A Topshop source said: “This issue is related to a T-shirt provided to Topshop by a third-party supplier. We are aware it is the subject of litigation and it would therefore be inappropriate to comment.”
Rihanna is currently in business with Topshop rival, River Island, who she has created two collections for. You can find out what we thought about that here!