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Lawsuit Between LaChapelle and Rihanna Settled

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Lawsuit Between LaChapelle and Rihanna Settled

Rihanna Settles in Out of Court Decision for Undisclosed Sum

Dispute over copyrighted material had gone on for some time, but has now settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. In settling Rihanna recognized that her "S&M" video did in fact copy the photographic work of fashion and fine art photographer David LaChapelle.

The "composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting" of the video were too much like the work of LaChappelle, and it is true that side by side there are just a few too many parallels to be accidental or independent. While Rihanna's lawyers argued some claims went too far and that plagiarism could not be claimed, including some of the scenes depicting a dominatrix within and without domestic spaces, in the end the devil was in the details. True, due to the subject matter some similarities would naturally exist, but schematic compositional choices- pink and white stripes; costume decisions-frizzy red wigs or in still other scenes with pink latex suits and similar gesture could not be ignored.

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Background story inFAB coverage from July

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