Homage Is Expensive: Rihanna Pays Up To Settle Photographer's Lawsuit
from the idea/expression? dept
We’ve been covering the lawsuit filed by photographer Dave LaChapelle because the video for Rihanna’s song S&M appeared to mimic some of the ideas found in some of his photographs:
Of course, we thought that there was an idea/expression dichotomy in copyright law that says you can’t copyright the idea — just the expression. So we thought that a judge would make quick work of the case. Instead, the judge confirmed what we already suspected: the idea/expression dichotomy is a total and complete myth, and the case could move forward. This was reasonably troubling for lots of folks — though certainly for Rihanna.
So it came as little surprise that Rihanna has “settled” the lawsuit with LaChapelle, meaning that she gave him a bunch of cash to go away. The lesson in all of this? Homage is expensive. You’re best off not bothering.