In “rich people fighting rich people” news today, Rihanna is suing Topshop, chaired by billionaire Sir Philip Green, for selling shirts that used her image without gaining her permission beforehand.
After spotting her image on the shirts, Rihanna and her team attempted to negotiate with Topshop owners Arcadia Group for the past eight months. However, according to a NY Post source, they just “offered her $5,000 and said they don’t care.” Uh, $5,000 for using somebody’s image to sell shirts? Given how incredibly popular Rihanna is across the globe, one can only assume they sold a hell of a lot of them.
The source went on:
“Rihanna’s management asked Topshop a number of times to stop selling her image and were told, ‘We do what we want.’ They buy the pictures from a photographer, but they do not pay the artist licensing fees. Unfortunately, UK law does not protect the artist.
“What is most offensive for Rihanna is that they basically told her, ‘Go to hell. We don’t care; we are going to continue selling you.’ Topshop is now in the United States. They set up in Manhattan and Nordstrom, but they know better than to do this in the US because they would get in trouble,” our source continued.
“Even though the UK laws don’t protect the artist, she has decided to move forward and sue Topshop. She has spent almost $1 million in litigation at this point. She says it’s the principle, and wants to make a statement about it. They are taking advantage of artists. It is just exploitation. What they are doing is wrong.”
I think it’s fairly obvious that Rihanna is in the right here — no company should be able to use a person’s image to sell things without their consent. It seems as though enormous companies like Topshop and DKNY feel entitled to do so, and they should absolutely have to face repercussions lest there be more manufacturers who start to do so, as well.
Photos: Getty Images & Tumblr.