Pop star Rihanna has won a high court battle with UK retailer Topshop after they used her face to sell a T-shirt without her permission.
An irate Rihanna has taken clothing retailer Topshop to court over a T-shirt dispute where her image was used without permission and, despite tougher UK laws on use of an artist's image, a judge has apparently ruled in her favour.
The T-shirt shows the sultry-looking star wearing her hair piled high with a headscarf and a white bra top and was on sale in the Philip Green-owned fashion retailer's stores in 2011. The Daily Mail now reports that the Barbadian singer won the High Court battle with the high street giant.
Rihanna Was Not Impressed When She Discovered Her Mug Was On An Unendorsed T-Shirt.
The 'What's My Name' artist was reportedly worried that the unendorsed T-shirt would affect her reputation and damaged her image if fans bought the product thinking that it was official merchandise.
Topshop disputed her claim but today Judge Mr Justice Birss ruled in her favour after a hearing in London. Justice Birss said that a "substantial number"of buyers were likely to have been misled into buying the Rihanna T-shirt as a result of a "false belief" that it was an authorised product where a profit would go to the singer. The High Court judge said that the image's use was damaging to her "goodwill" and represented a loss of control over her reputation in the "fashion sphere."
Rihanna Turned Down Topshop's Fractional Offering To Settle The Dispute.
Rihanna had claimed that she was entitled to damages for the unauthorised use of her picture and was looking for a settlement to the tune of £3.5 million but was originally offered £3,500 after eight months of negotiations with Topshop: a sum that was turned down by the multi-millionaire performer and they failed to reach an agreement.
A source reported by the Mirror explains that it's not so easy for Rihanna to se the retailer due to UK laws regarding image ownership: "Even though UK laws don't protect the artist, she has decided to move forward and sue Topshop. She has spent almost $1million (£660,000) 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."
Rihanna Has Reportedly Won Her Court Case, It is Not Clear How Much She Will Be Paid By Topshop.
Although Topshop have not released any official word on the dispute or legal proceedings, the Mirror's source informs that the T-shirts were bought from a third party supplier and the licence for the image was bought from the photographer who took the photo at the Northern Irish shoot of her music video for 'We Found Love.'
Rihanna's legal representative, Martin Howe QC, who is helping sue Topshop's owners, Arcadia Brands Limited using the singer's real name, Robyn Rihanna Fenty, told the court: "Rihanna is one of the world's most famous musical performing artists. She needs little introduction. Like most well known contemporary performing artists, she engages in merchandising, and like most such performing artists, it represents a significant part of her revenue stream.
"In 2012, Topshop sold a T-shirt displaying a clearly recognisable image of Rihanna[...]A substantial number of people buying, or even seeing, those T-shirts would think they are approved or somehow connected with Rihanna, when, in fact, they were not approved of or connected with her at all."