Rihanna may want you to ogle her body on Instagram, but don’t think for a second you’re allowed to wear her likeness without her consent.
Back in May, the “We Found Love” singer sued British retailer Topshop for using her photo on T-shirts without her permission. According to Page Six, “Rihanna’s management asked Topshop a number of times to stop selling her image and were told, ‘We do what we want.’”
It looked like the case might go badly for the 25-year-old, who initially sued for $5 million. Topshop had acquired the rights to the image, which, under British law, means they can pretty much do what they want. “They buy the pictures from a photographer, but they do not pay the artist licensing fees,” explained a source. “Unfortunately, UK law does not protect the artist.”
Thankfully for RiRi, her lawyers made a good case. The judge alleged the company was “passing off” the products as genuine merchandise endorsed by the star herself. On September 25, he granted Rihanna a permanent injunction, which forbids Topshop from “any future similar wrong use” for her image.
It seems like a pretty cut-and-dry case, but the battle is far from over. Rihanna is now seeking $1.4 million to cover the money spent on legal fees, a sum which the judge finds “startling.”
In fact, until the damages can be fully assessed, Topshop only has to pay an interim fee of £200,000 (roughly $320,000).
Last time we checked, Rihanna blew her nose with that kind of money.
Source: Page Six; MailOnline; The Cut