First David LaChapelle sued Rihanna for infringement, claiming she ripped off some of his photographs to create the video for her hit song S&M. Now a young Paris fashion photographer is threatening to sue on the grounds that Rihanna ripped off his work, too.
Photographer Philipp Paulus, 19, issued a press release claiming that a scene from the S&M video showing Rihanna pinned to a wall with plastic wrap and black tape is identical to the “set, staging and photographies” of Paulus’s “Paperworld” fashion series.
“The copyright laws of our client has been infringed and the worldwide million-wise exploitation of the video “S&M“ is unlawful,” Paulus’s lawyer says in a press release which was badly translated from the French before it was posted by the celebrity watch site Radar Online.com.
“Why a worldwide celebrity is not able to afford a creative director…is incomprehensible to me,” Paulus says, adding that Rihanna “stole ideas from a creative talent” rather than create her own work.
The press release also accuses Universal Music, Rihanna’s record label, of hypocrisy. Universal spends a lot of money and resources to locate and admonish those who infringe its copyrighted music, the press release points out. “It is even more astonishing that – how in this case – the major-label Universal Music does exactly what itself denounces and admonishes – namely the infringement of the copyright of others!!”
Where and when Paulus actually files suit remains to be seen, but if he follows through on his threat, he’ll have the same uphill legal battle that LaChapelle is having. That is, he’ll have to prove that Rihanna copied his photographic execution–including elements such as lighting, styling, props, lenses, camera angles, etc–and not just his creative ideas.
Natalie Brasington, a New York based photographer specializing in conceptual portraits of comedians, explains how she got started, and shares practical advice for aspiring celebrity photographers. In the video below, she shows how she conceived some of her early portraits of comedian Amy Schumer, and more recent portraits of other comedians. PDN: What draws you... More ›
A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on May 7, 2016 at 5:45pm PDT Digiday’s Shareen Pathak has published a revealing–though anonymous–interview with a social media executive about the business of finding and cultivating social media influencers to promote brands. (A subject we’ve tackled quite a bit — here and here.) Reading it, you’ll learn... More ›
Photographer Lynn Goldsmith’s studio says the Smithsonian Institution violated copyright of her 1993 portrait of Prince last week by distributing the image to the media without permission. The musician died April 21, and the following day, the Smithsonian displayed a print of Goldsmith’s photograph at the National Portrait Gallery’s In Memoriam space. The museum notified... More ›