Rihanna wins legal battle with Topshop over printed t-shirt

hellomagazine.com

Rihanna has won a legal battle with Topshop after taking the high street giant to court for producing T-shirts emblazoned with her face. The 26-year-old claimed that the image was used without her permission and sued the brand's parent company Arcadia for $5million (£3.3m).

Rihanna's lawyers said the photo of Rihanna was taken during a video shoot in Northern Ireland in 2011 by a freelance photographer, but that the singer had never authorised the use of the image.

Rihanna has won a court case against Topshop over a T-shirt featuring her image

While Rihanna won the initial court battle against Topshop, the high street store appealed the decision on the basis that, in the UK, celebrities have no legal right to control the use of their image and that they were operating within the law on celebrity merchandising.

However judges unanimously dismissed the appeal on Thursday, ruling that Topshop was 'passing off' Rihanna's image.

They observed that the pop diva's fans could be led to believe she was endorsing the product, when in fact the photo was being used without her authorisation and was therefore not connected to the singer.

The T-shirt featured this image of Rihanna, taken without her authorisation

Rihanna's lawyers had previously used the same argument, stating that because the image came from a video shoot, the make-up and hairdo was very similar to images on the CD inlay of her album Talk that Talk.

"A substantial number of people buying, or even seeing, those T-shirts would think they are approved or somehow connected with Rihanna," said her lawyer Martin Howe QC. "When, in fact, they were not approved of or connected with her at all."