It has been said, “Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride, nobody’s gonna slow me down.” Considering all that Rihanna has been through, including being smacked with a copyright infringement suit, those words have never ringed truer.
In a complaint filed by fashion photographer David LaChappelle, the man with the magic lens claims that Rihanna’s S&M video violates his copyrights. Particularly, LaChappelle asserts that 8 of his photographs were likened in her video.
On Thursday of last week, U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin paved the way for the copyright infringement suit by allowing the photographer to pursue his copyright claims, but did dismiss the trade-dress, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment claims.
Should LaCheppelle prevail over the vixen, he would be entitled to actual damages sustained by him plus any additional profits that Rihanna makes that are not used in calculating the actual damages. (§504 of the Copyright Act) Another avenue that LaCheppelle could take in recovering monetary damages if he prevails is, at any time before Summary Judgment is rendered, he may ask the Court to award him statutory damages. This would allow him an award of anywhere from $750 to $30,000. (At the discretion of the Court) Or, if the Court finds it was committed willfully, the Court can increase the award to no more than $150,000.
Obviously, he must win before he gets a dime, but a pay day because someone else feels they can copy you, by all means. Cheers.