Famed photographer David LaChapelle is upset and offended over Rihanna's S&M video not because it's extremely sexual, but because he feels that it's ripping his photographs off.
Rihanna's latest musical and video offering has been stirring the controversial pot ever since it's release due to it's blatant sexual imagery and lyrics. The video now has a new set of controversial issues to deal with - copyright infringement.
David LaChapelle is suing the singer claiming that his images were used in the making of the video without his permission. He filed court papers claiming that the costumes and poses in the video were more than a little similar to the work he's done in the past. He called these similarities "willful, wanton and deliberate" acts of copyright infringement.
In addition, LaChapelle went on to cite specific photographs that he felt were nearly copied to the proverbial 't' in her video's imagery. That's not all, though, it gets worse for Rihanna.
The acclaimed photographer also makes claims that director Melina Matsoukas was "asked by Rihanna or persons acting on her behalf to create a LaChapelle-esque music video."
He did, however, make sure to note that this isn't a personal attack against Rihanna. Â“This is not personal, strictly business. Musicians commonly pay to sample music or use someone's beats and there should be no difference when 'sampling' artist's visuals. I really like Riri - we've actually worked together before. I think about her every time I'm caught in the rain without my umbrella,Â” LaChapelle, said.
This is all looking extremely bad for RiRi, who has not as of yet commented on the lawsuit. It's flattering that she clearly enjoyed his work, but there's a fine line between enjoying and blatantly ripping it off.
Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, however, has been able to uncover the similarities in his blog. As many are aware, Perez has a cameo in the video including one scene that has been tagged as copying David's work. In fact, Hilton even went so far as to lay the photos and the video still side by side. You can check out that image here, and be the judge on how similar they are or aren't to one another. That's not to say that this is an open and shut case based on that alone, but it sure doesn't sound like Rihanna is going to have much of a fight on this one.
Which side of the line do you feel Rihanna was on when she made the video? Was she simply paying homage to a person that inspired her or was she knowingly ripping off his ideas and concepts? Weigh in below.