It seems that a bucket of out-of-court settlement cold water has doused the artistic cat-fight between photographer David LaChapelle and singer Rihanna. Shame, really, as this one could have been interesting.
Rihanna has agreed to pay LaChapelle an undisclosed sum after he sought $1 million in damages from her, citing copyright infringement. LaChapelle thought that some scenes in Rihanna’s S&M video looked suspiciously similar to a set of his photos that had appeared in Italian Vogue.
LaChapelle claimed that Rihanna had copied everything from his images that appeared in the magazine, from the poses to the ligting set-up; Rihanna countered that he was ‘trying to monopolise a whole genre’ of sado-masochistic images. When it went before New York Judge Shira A Scheindlin in July, to decide if he did have a claim at all, she agreed: ‘An ordinary observer may well overlook any differences and regard the aesthetic appeal of “Striped Face” and the “Pink Room Scene” as the same.’
From LaChapelle’s point of view, he has got what he wanted. ‘Musicians commonly pay to sample music or use someone’s beats and there should be no difference when sampling an artist’s visuals.’ He’s happy with the settlement.
As for Rihanna, she might want to consider her next video a bit more carefully. So far she has managed to upset two photographers and a conservative Northern Irish farmer when shooting them. Is anyone opening a book on her next line of attack?
(Headsup to the Guardian)