Rihanna and photographer David LaChapelle have a settlement in the LaChapelle’s lawsuit against the singer. In February of this year, LaChapelle accused her of recreating his images in her S&M music video. LaChapelle called the video “substantially similar” to eight examples of his work. The difference between this case and the Zappos nude runners: LaChapelle alleges that Rihanna’s video copied the “composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting” of his work. Those are protectable elements.
In his complaint against Rihanna this summer, LaChapelle alleged, “Defendants are wrongly implying to the public that plaintiff was involved in the creation of the Music Video or that plaintiff has endorsed, approved or otherwise consented to its creation. In July, the Southern District of New York court acknowledged some definite similarities. Further the court granted Rihanna’s motion to dismiss as to LaChapelle’s claims for trade dress infringment, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. However, the court denied her motion to dismiss as to LaChapelle’s claim for copyright infringement.
A representative for LaChapelle told Page Six that the two artists settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.