Rihanna has taken her lawsuit with TOPSHOP one step further by asking the judge of London’s High Court to issue an injunction against the fashion retailer to prevent further sales an clothing bearing her likeness. After launching a lawsuit against the U.K. brand back in May, the new developments in the case has pinned American image reproduction laws against the U.K.’s.
The singer’s lawyer argued in court that the image used on the T-shirts is “very similar” to pictures included on CD sleeves and promotional material for her album Talk That Talk. The photo of Rihanna was taken by a freelance photographer, “without her permission”, while on the set of her music video “We Found Love” in 2011.
TOPSHOP lawyers are using the freelance photographer as the person responsible for the licensing fees and image rights and are therefore not liable to pay the Rihanna image rights. Topshop’s lawyer, Geoffrey Hobbs, stated, “We resist the claim on two main bases; first, this is, in substance and reality, an impermissible attempt by Rihanna to establish an image reproduction right in the UK. There is no such right.
“On the contrary, Topshop are entitled honestly to sell the garment, having obtained the necessary copyright license.
“Secondly there is no representation here, given that the garment is fashion wear and not promotional merchandise.” A judge has yet to rule on the case.
Rihanna is seeking $5 million in damages and a ban on any similar products bearing her likeness being sold by Topshop bosses. She is also demanding all existing items be destroyed.