The 22-year-old New-York based photographer claims that scenes in the pop star’s bondage-themed video were actually inspired by his fashion photography collection, “Paperworld,” and was never given credit for it.
Despite the three-time American-Vogue covergirl or her record label Universal Music yet to respond to the new suit, Paulus is currently moving forward with his case in a court in Stuffgart, Germany.
“It is shocking that a company like Universal music, which generates its turnover with intellectual property, copies the intellectual property completely unauthorized and without respect,” Paulus said.
Paulus’ lawyer, Philip Jakober, said Universal Music Group had “admitted the similarities some time ago but had not made a reasonable offer to settle the matter, prompting the legal case.”
Per Daily Mail, Jakober adds, “Certain video scenes of the music video ‘S&M’ are essentially the basics of the copyright protected achievements and creations of my client.”
And in 2011, Paulus first took legal action over the issue, shortly after another photographer, David LaChapelle, accused Universal and Rihanna of stealing his ideas for the S&M video.
The well-known American photographer argued in the court docs — filed in Manhattan Federal Court in New York City — that certain scenes in the ‘S&M’ music video were ‘directly derived from and substantially similar’ to eight of his photographs.
With over 48 million plays on YouTube, the video could be banned if the court rules in Paulus favor or if a settlement is not reached.