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Rihanna Facing Another ‘S&M’ Lawsuit

Rhianna’s controversial music video for ‘S&M’ has landed her in hot water yet again. This time around, photographer Phillip Paulus is suing the singer for copyright infringement.

According to, Paulus alleges that Rihanna identically replicated his series of photographs, called ‘Paperworld,’ in the racy video without his permission.

The scene in question depicts Rihanna, dressed in a large, fluffy gown against a wall, and is covered in plastic and surrounded by large black ‘X’ marks. Paulus claims one of his photographs is extremely similar in both concept and execution.

“For legitimate reasons the use of copying Paulus’ work over a million times requires an agreement that protects the copyright and the achievements and creations of our client which has never been given by our client, neither to the artist Rihanna nor to her label Universal Music,” Paulus’ lawyer said in a statement. “According to this, the copyright laws of our client has been infringed and the worldwide million-wise exploitation of the video ‘S&M’ is unlawful.”

Paulus also released a statement of his own regarding Rihanna and the lawsuit.

“Why a worldwide celebrity is not able to afford a creative director, who creates individual concepts and stagings, is incomprehensible for me,” Paulus said. “To create new things within the creative cosmos, you can only expect this to come from a real genius, there is no doubt about that.”

He adds that the singer and her label should be embarrassed that they copied another artist’s work.

“…Every other creative professional should realize how supremely embarrassing it is to copy the work of colleagues from the artistic world and then to be praised for it,” he said.

This is the second ‘S&M’ lawsuit for Rihanna and Universal. Photographer David LaChapelle sued over the video in February, claiming it copied the “composition, total concept, feel, tone, mood, theme, colors, props, settings, decors, wardrobe and lighting” of his work.

By: Kelly Fisher





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