Rihanna has a good reason to celebrate: a judge in London ruled in favor of her in the $5 million lawsuit she brought against Topshop’s parent company Arcadia for selling a shirt with a photo of her on it. She accused the British retailer of using the photo of her without her permission for a profit.
High Court Judge Justice Birss declared that a “substantial number” of consumers were likely duped into buying the “Rihanna tank” because of a “false belief” that the pop star had endorsed it, BBC News reports. Birss agreed with Rihanna’s lawyers that the unauthorized usage of her image — which looked similar to photos taken of Rihanna during filming of a music video in 2011, which ended up being included in the CD sleeve of her album “Talk That Talk” — was deceptive to consumers and damaging to Rihanna’s reputation.
However, the judge did note that there’s “no such thing as a general right by a famous person to control the reproduction of their image … The taking of the photograph is not suggested to have breached Rihanna’s privacy,” Birss said. “The mere sale by a trader of a T-shirt bearing an image of a famous person is not an act of passing off. However I find that Topshop’s sale of this T-shirt was an act of passing off.”
No word yet on the amount of damages the clothing giant has to pay.