Is this not the worst photo of Rihanna ever?
Click here to see photo.
No wonder she’s suing UK fashion house Topshop for putting it on a t-shirt without her consent.
The case will be decided under UK law, which we don’t care about, but what if it happened here? It’s a very interesting question, actually.
Contrary to what most celebrities think, nobody owns the rights to their own face. If someone takes your photo, they own the copyright. You don’t own copyright in your own image, simply because you didn’t create it (hmm, not so sure about the position post-cosmetic surgery…)
But that’s not the whole story. There is case law where famous people have been able to prevent their image being used to promote products or services, using the misleading conduct laws in the Competition and Consumer Act. Basically, if the use of your image represents that you’ve endorsed the product or there’s a commercial connection of some sort between you and the supplier, then you have a case to stop them.
In this case, is the average punter likely to think, seeing Rihanna’s pout on a Topshop T, that she’s now the Face of Topshop? That’s pretty much the question. We’d say yes. We’d also sue the photographer for making RiRi look trashy.