David LaChapelle Suing Rihanna's Nonexistent Pants Off
Feb 15, 2011 - by Lester Brathwaite
Rihanna's controversial video for "S&M" -- it's already been banned in 11 countries -- has got David LaChapelle seeing red...or at least pink outlined in zebra print. The photog is suing the popstar for copying the 'composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colours, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting' of his work.
In his suit, LaChapelle alleges RiRi appropriated eight of his images for the video, directed by Melina Matsoukas who was also behind the camera for the singer's "Rude Boy" video.
You may remember, if your memory consists almost completely of Wikipedia articles as mine does, that this is not the first time that Matsoukas has been accused of plagiarism.
The "Rude Boy" video was criticized for copying M.I.A.'s video for "Boyz" but Matsoukas defended that video, saying that she "definitely wasn't trying to rip anybody off" and that "we're all inspired by similar elements and it came together in that way."
It's not clear whether LaChapelle can win this case -- intellectual property suits can be tricky -- but it certainly raises questions as to where inspiration ends and plagiarism begins. And also raises questions concerning why Perez Hilton is allowed anywhere near a music video.
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