David LaChapelle Sues Rihanna Over ‘S&M’ Video

In a move most people saw a mile (or at least a tweet) away, fashion photographer David LaChapelle has sued Rihanna over her “S&M” music video, which he claims was “directly derived” from his work.

In a lawsuit made public on Monday, LaChapelle called the video “substantially similar” to his eight examples of his work — a fact that didn’t go unnoticed by legions of his fans, fashion connoisseurs, and, well, LaChapelle himself, who tweeted on the day of the video’s release: “The next time you make a David LaChapelle music video you should probably hire David LaChapelle.” (The tweet was subsequently deleted.)

From Reuters:

LaChapelle said Rihanna’s video copied the “composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting” of his work.

He is suing for unspecified damages. A spokeswoman for Rihanna did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

While the lawsuit isn’t great news for Rihanna, it will, at the very least, drum up some press for a single which has (in Reuters’ words) “fizzled on the charts.” But the lawsuit may inspire others. We’ve received two emails about a 19-year-old photographer named Philipp Paulus whose 2010 editorial Paperworld also appears to have inspired her video. A side by side of the images is below, as is a behind-the-scenes video from his shoot.


Is Rihanna’s S&M Video A Blatant Rip-Off Of David LaChapelle? [Styleite]

[Reuters via Music-Mix]

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