French court rejects plagiarism case against Rihanna
The court rejected James Clar’s claim that an installation featured in Rihanna’s 2010 music video “Rockstar 101” was copied from one of his creations
A French court on Thursday cleared singing superstar Rihanna of plagiarism in a case brought by a US visual artist who was claiming millions of euros in compensation. The court rejected James Clar’s claim that an installation featured in Rihanna’s 2010 music video “Rockstar 101” was copied from one of his creations.
He had been seeking five million euros ($5.6 million) in damages. But the court also threw out a counter-claim by the Barbados-born singer. She was seeking 100,000 euros in damages from Clar for bringing what she said was a groundless case.
In the opening seconds of the video, the words “Rock star” appear in fluorescent tubes suspended from the ceiling. Clar had argued that this was a straight lift from his 2006 installation “You and Me”, in which words are also composed with suspended fluorescent tubes.
But while the court acknowledged there were some similarities, it ruled that they were outweighed by the differences. Clar had chosen to have the case heard in France. Rihanna, who has ventured into fashion design, was in Paris last week to attend the launch of her latest collection at fashion week.