Rihanna has become an empire unto herself, so if a brand — like, say, Topshop — is to use her likeness, they better be willing to ask permission or shell out. At least that's what we can deduce from reports that the singer is suing Topshop for $5 million after they sold t-shirts with her face on them without consulting her.
The New York Post has claimed Rihanna's camp and Topshop have been going back and forth about this for about eight months, and since there's no resolution in site, international law firm Reed Smith is going in to deal with it.
Said a source: "Rihanna's management asked Topshop a number of times to stop selling her image and were told: 'We do what we want.' Even though the UK laws don't protect the artist, she has decided to move forward and sue Topshop."
"She says it's the principle," the source continued. "And wants to make a statement about it. They are taking advantage of artists. It is just exploitation. What they are doing is wrong."
Yikes. Topshop has yet to comment, but did say they were aware that the piece is a "subject of litigation."
What do you guys think? If a brand's going to use someone's likeness in any way, should they consult with them first or truly "do what they want"?