Earlier this year, we wrote about how photographer David LaChappelle was suing Rihanna
for the video of her song S&M
, which includes a variety of scenes that might sorta be attempts to depict LaChappelle photographs as a part of a video:
I couldn't see how that was copyright infringement at all, but apparently another photographer heard about LaChappelle's lawsuit and decided to jump into the fray as well. Photographer Philipp Paulus is claiming that a different part of that same video infringes on the copyright of one of his photographs
Once again, I'm at a loss to see how this might be infringing. At best, it's an homage, for which the artist should be happy. At worst, it's hard to argue that this isn't a clear case of fair use. It's definitely transformative in a variety of ways (photo to video, very different scenes and setups, music video, etc.) and it's ridiculous to argue that this, in any way, harms the commercial value of the original work. These lawsuits just seem like some annoying photographers trying to cash in.