ACCLAIMED AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER David LaChapelle is suing singer Rihanna over her controversial S&M video, claiming that the imagery used is “directly derived” from his photographs.
LaChapelle is known for daring, camp and surreal imagery and has created portraits of stars like David Bowie, Elton John, Anna Nicole Smith, Angelina Jolie, Mark Wahlberg, Tupac Shakur, bands like the Flaming Lips, and many more. His work has been published in Rolling Stone, GQ and Vanity Fair.
The suit is asking for at least $1 million in damages for using themes and images similar to those used in his work, such as a woman wearing only newspaper headlines – which he employed in a portrait of Lady Gaga – which he argues constitutes a “willful, wanton and deliberate” infringement of his copyright.
However, the photographer has made it clear that the law suit is “strictly business,” according to CNN. He said “I really like Riri – this is not personal… Musicians commonly pay to sample music or use someone’s beats and there should be no difference when ‘sampling’ artist’s visuals.”