an image from Paulas’ Paperworld (left) & one from Rihanna’s S&M video (right)
In case one lawsuit stemming from the music video for her song, S&M, isn’t enough, Rihanna is headed back to court. Turns out, over two years after Rihanna and photographer David LaChapelle settled the lawsuit he filed against her for allegedly recreating his images in her S&M music video, the singer has been slapped with another suit. This time, photographer Philipp Paulus has filed a suit against the singer over similarities between his work and her S&M video. The 22-year-old German photographer alleges in the complaint that he filed in a Stuttgart, Germany-based court that various aspects of Rihanna’s video infringing the copyrights of his original series of images, entitled, Paperword.
According to a statement from Paulas’ lawyer Philip Jakober, he and his client attempted to settle the matter with Universal Music out of court, but since Universal did make an acceptable offer, they filed suit against both the singer and the record company. Paulus is seeking damages and for an injunction which would mean that if they were successful, Universal Music could face, among other things, a ban on broadcasting the video not only on YouTube but also on television worldwide.
Now that Universal knows Paulas is serious, I wouldn’t be surprised if the parties settle this matter out of court, as they did with LaChapelle.