Saturday, May 18, 2013

Rihanna takes on Philip Green

There's a confusing court case gathering in the wings as Rihanna sues TopShop over a tshirt with her face on that the Tory sacking advisor Philip Green (sorry, I mean "Philip Green's wife", don't I?) was flogging without her permission.

The oddity is that in a rather detailed unattributed source briefing to the New York Post, Rihanna's team more-or-less admitted that she doesn't have much of case:

The source said, “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.
I'm not a lawyer, but I think admitting there's no law which protects artists from having their faces splashed on tshirts might weaken your case somewhat.

Why is she pushing ahead?
“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.”
Yeah, when you go into TopShop and see the tshirts made by people earning pennies, it's really the exploitation of multimillionaire Rihanna that you should be focusing on.

Still, burning through a million dollars to make a point isn't a bad way of spending the money you have and don't know what to do with. It's not like you're creating bigger problems for yourself, is it?

Sorry... what were you saying, New York Post?
We’re told the case is now in discovery. Rihanna has handed over details of her fashion deals with Armani and River Island, a competitor to Topshop in the UK.
So in order to pursue a case you admit is likely to not go anywhere, you've handed over top-secret details of a deal with a competitor to a company who you believe are exploitative?

Who on earth is advising you?