Verdict out: Rihanna is not guilty

French court clears pop star of plagiarism charges

News Desk October 07, 2016
Rihanna launched her latest fashion line at the recent Paris Fashion Week. PHOTO: FILE

A French court has cleared singing superstar Rihanna of plagiarism charges, in a case brought forth by an American visual artist, who was claiming millions of euros in compensation.

According to AFP, the court rejected James Clar’s allegation that an installation featured in Rihanna’s 2010 music video for Rockstar 101 was copied from one of his creations. He had been seeking €5 million ($5.6 million) in damages.

But the court also threw out a counter-claim by the Barbados-born singer. She was seeking €100,000 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 the recent Paris Fashion Week.

The pop star has always had a keen eye for style. The Umbrella hit-maker was recently spotted rocking long new dreadlocks while heading to a party in New York. According to IANS, she had opted for a long vintage t-shirt bearing the image of her own face, which she then removed to reveal her party attire: a red dress she had been wearing underneath.

The silk number flaunted Rihanna’s legs well and the singer completed the bold look with bright red lips, a fur stole and chunky gold jewellery. However, this is not the first time she has sported dreadlocks. The Please Don’t Stop the Music crooner debuted them back in 2012 when she appeared on American Idol, although this time, the locks are much longer.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2016.

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