Perhaps the fateful decision for British fashion was made today by a London court. Topshop, who has lost twice to Rihanna in the past two years, only has a chance to turn the case in its favor in the Supreme Court. But, given the costs of the process and the forfeit they paid to the singer in 2013, the war is over. And in this case, from the point of view of British law, the first precedent in history was created confirming the exclusive rights of celebrities to content containing information about them, regardless of the medium. Following Rihanna, everyone from Alan Rickman or Benedict Cumberbatch, whose portraits often adorn the T-shirts of fans, can go to court to withdraw from the sale of merchandise that has not received the highest permission, to Elizabeth II, who got from both glam fans and punks.
Having faltered over one seemingly unremarkable T-shirt, here and now the era of satirical parodies, free criticism and creativity, not only of the top management of retailers like Topshop, but also of anyone who has a Photoshop and a printer at home, can end here. The Rihanna case was not about commercial gain obtained without the consent of the star, but about the exceptional value of celebrities for anything that contains a particle of their personality. In fact, now pictures from the Metropolitan Gala or the opening of the Cannes Film Festival for the UK are on a par with scientific achievements and works of art. Perhaps soon they will have a statute of limitations, after which it will be possible not to hide the calendar with X-files for 1999 from the eyes of vigilant neighbors.
“The court’s decision confirms that the use of celebrity images on any product can mislead the public, make people believe that this or that thing is approved or recommended by the person depicted on it,” Arty Rajendra explained to reporters. - This is a completely natural evolution of legislation that meets the needs of the modern world. Celebrity merchandise rights are extremely valuable, and the costs of creating some images are often really high. And it is right that now they cannot be used unlicensed.