On November 19, 2007, a French court ruled in favor of luxury goods maker, Louis Vuitton in its lawsuit against singer Britney Spears and record label, Sony. The Paris-based luxury goods brand sued Sony BMG Music Entertainment for allowing its artists – including Spears, rapper Da Brat and “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard – to use Louis Vuitton’s famous trademarks and copyrights in music videos and album covers.
While Spears herself was excused from the suit, a Paris civil court ordered Sony BMG and MTV Online to stop broadcasting and/or marketing the video for “Do Something” in any form and fined them $117,000 apiece, a spokeswoman for Paris-based Louis Vuitton said Monday.
“We believe the terms of this agreement will provide strong protection to our brand worldwide,” Louis Vuitton’s Nathalie Moulle-Berteaux said in a statement on the heels of the settlement. In addition to paying monetary damages, Sony BMG has agreed “to educate its record labels” about copyright laws, according to Moulle-Berteaux.
A spokesman for Sony BMG, which represents Arista, Columbia and Epic records, declined to comment.
Spears, in particular, came under fire after she released the music video for her song, Do Somethin’, in which she appears in a pink Hummer with a dashboard upholstered in pink fabric that appears to be Louis Vuitton’s “Cherry Blossoms” design, a collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, that bears both trademark and copyright protection.
When asked about the authenticity of the lookalike textiles before Louis Vuitton filed suit against Sony, a spokesman for the company merely stated, “We don’t make dashboards.”