Having won a Copyright Infringement case myself a few months ago against an Arizona Public Speaker, Marsha Petrie Sue who was found liable in a US Federal Court in Los Angeles of willful copyright infringement, I have the utmost respect for photographer Dave La Chapelle for going after singer Rihanna , her video director, her label, and her team.
which by the way is the same name as my 1995 “Toxic People” book. She not only used my copyrighted material in her book, she placed it on her website and took credit for it as her own.
Appalled at seeing my material in her version of “Toxic People” and then over the internet as well, I had no choice but to use the legal system to protect my rights.
I FOUGHT FOR EVERY CREATIVE PERSON
I felt I was fighting for not only me but for everyone who creates- every author, songwriter, screenwriter, artist, designers, and photographer.
So when I learned that acclaimed photographer Dave Chapelle decided to stick up for his rights and take the matter through the legal system I couldn’t have been happier.
Apparently LaChapelle is suing singer Rihanna, as well as her record label and a her video director Melina Matsoukas, for allegedly using his copyrighted photos as the basis for her latest video, “S&M” and using his photos without his permission or reference to him.
Just as Marsha Petrie Sue claimed my material as her own without giving proper credit, Rihanna and her video director and record label have allegedly claimed LaChapelle’s material as their own.
Rhianna and company, allegedly used the LaChapelle’s copyrighted image “Latex” where in Rihanna’s video, noting a the left side of her face is against a blue background as she is wearing false eyelashes and close-fitting, shiny, pink latex hood, with her mouth open as a small candy is placed on her tongue which was a striking similarity to his work.
Allegedly Rihanna and her team wanted the video director to create a “LaChapelle-esque” music video LaChapelle also found that the storyboards which were apparently used for the video had prints of his works and other photographs.
LaChapelle is quoted as saying “Musicians commonly pay to sample music or use someone’s beats and there should be no difference when ‘sampling’ artist’s visuals.”
How right he is! In my case as a writer, people have paid me to use my quizzes or the lists in my book. So when Marsha Petrie Sue took my material and claimed it as her own she paid the consequence of being found liable by a unanimous jury in A US Federal court as a willful copyright infringer.
That was the case with me. In fact because Petrie Sue didn’t sell that many books, my award wasn’t that high. But it was the principal of the situation that meant the most to me.I am sure that is the case with La Chapelle.
The fact that Rihanna’s video is not being sold in eleven eleven countries because it has been banned due to the offensive nature of the video, he may likewise end up receiving a lesser financially amount than he initially intended .
Taking a case to a US Federal Court is not an easy undertaking. It is definitely not for the weakk of heart. It requires a lot of emotional strength to deal with all of the ups and downs that no doubt take place. But in the end it is worth it 100 per cent.
After winning my case against I have become even more empowered as a human being. It has given me the peace of mind that I will never allow anyone to take from me what is not rightfully theirs as I stuck up for myself and what I created.
As a result of this experience I am even more in love with my country than ever before as I saw how the legal system works and how justice prevailed. www. drlillianglass.com