24 December 2020Copyright

Rihanna in copyright spat over Fenty Instagram ad

Rihanna has found herself at the centre of a copyright lawsuit which revolves around an Instagram post advertising the singer’s fashion brand,  Fenty.

Canadian musician Arish Ahmed Khan, known as  King Khan, and his daughter Sabaa Louise Ahmed Khan, known as  Saba Lou, filed the complaint at the US District Court for the Central District of California on Tuesday, December 22.

The father-daughter duo, who are based in Berlin, are the co-writers of a song called ‘Good Habits (and Bad)’, released in 2012.

In the complaint, they confirm that they wrote the music and lyrics of the song, and that they are the exclusive owners of it. They claim to have registered it with the US Copyright Office, though they did not disclose when.

The duo allege that Rihanna used the track in an advert on social media platform Instagram to promote her fashion brand, Fenty, without their permission. The Fenty brand covers lingerie, beauty products, and fashion apparel.

King Khan and Saba Lou said that the song was used in an advert for accessories sold under the Fenty brand. They described the infringement as “wilful, intentional, and malicious”.

The duo speculated that the singer sourced the song from a music streaming platform, such as Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, Deezer, or iHeartRadio, but did not have permission to use it in the advert.

Rihanna “wilfully copied, reproduced, performed, and distributed significant portions” of the song for financial benefit by using it in her Instagram advert, they alleged. The complaint does not say when this incident occurred.

According to the complaint, the social media advert in question was viewed more than 3.4 million times and attracted more than 10,000 comments.

The duo said that Rihanna’s infringement has resulted in her obtaining profits that would otherwise not have been gained, and these should be paid to King Khan and Saba Lou.

In addition, they have asked for statutory damages of up to $150,000 for each instance of infringement.

King Khan and Saba Lou have also asked the court to stop Rihanna from using their track, and to order the singer to pay their legal fees.

This is not the first time that Rihanna has found herself in an IP dispute.

In 2018, her Fenty brand became  tied up in a dispute between fashion retailer Forever 21 and sportswear brand Puma.

Meanwhile, in 2019, Rihanna  filed a trademark lawsuit against her father and his business partner, alleging that they were fraudulently indicating that their entertainment company is associated with the singer.

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More on this story

16 January 2019   Rihanna has filed a trademark lawsuit against her father and his business partner for allegedly fraudulently representing that their entertainment company is associated with the singer.
19 October 2018   Music artist Rihanna’s fashion company—which sells goods in association with sports retailer Puma—is at the centre of a trademark lawsuit.