Don't invoke the wrath of Rihanna!
Topshop has been selling a tank top with a picture of RiRi from her We Found Love music video (below) without her permission, and despite asking them repeatedly to halt sales of the item, the British retailer's refused.
The Barbadian diamond and her Reed Smith legal team even spent 8 month trying to negotiate an image-rights fee, "but they offered her $5,000 and said they don’t care", so now she's suing!
"Rihanna’s management asked Topshop a number of times to stop selling her image and were told, 'We do what we want.' They buy the pictures from a photographer, but they do not pay the artist licensing fees. Unfortunately, UK law does not protect the artist. What is most offensive for Rihanna is that they basically told her, 'Go to hell. We don’t care; we are going to continue selling you.' Topshop is now in the United States. They set up in Manhattan and Nordstrom, but they know better than to do this in the US because they would get in trouble."
Not cool, Topshop!
Rih is determined to stop the company from making money off her image, and believes it comes down to the principle of the matter.
The source added:
"Even though the UK laws don’t protect the artist, she has decided to move forward and sue Topshop. She has spent almost $1 million in litigation at this point. She says it’s the principle, and wants to make a statement about it. They are taking advantage of artists. It is just exploitation. What they are doing is wrong."
The case is currently in discover, meaning both sides are in the process of disclosing evidence to each other.
A Topshop source said:
"This issue is related to a T-shirt provided to Topshop by a third-party supplier. We are aware it is the subject of litigation. [There are] public documents available for inspection in the London court. The amount of damages sought has not been articulated anywhere in the claimant’s document."
We hate to see artists get exploited.
No matter how rich and famous an artist may be, it's still completely unfair and downright messed up to take advantage of them.
[Image via AKM-GSI.]