Madonna Tribe’s Year End Review: Hollywood Video Lawsuit
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And then sometimes it isn’t.
The son of a late fashion photographer has slapped a lawsuit on Madonna, claiming the Material One copied his dad’s racy images in a set of videos for her track “Hollywood.”
Samuel Bourdin, who claims ownership to the images created by his father, Guy Bourdin, who died in 1991, filed suit on Friday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
According to the lawsuit, Madge is accused of copyright infringement for reenacting poses and images from at least 11 of Bourdin’s photographs, the bulk of which were published in French Vogue from the mid ’50s through the late ’80s.
“It’s one thing to draw inspiration; it’s quite another to simply plagiarize the heart and soul of my father’s work,” Samuel Bourdin said in a statement.
Bourdin Jr. wants unspecified damages from Madonna, her record company, MTV and director Jean-Baptiste Mondino, among others, for the creative “sampling.”
A rep for the superstar said, “Madonna hasn’t been served yet, so there’s no comment for now.”
The elder Bourdin, whose work was the subject of a retrospective at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum this summer, is hailed as an groundbreaking cameraman for changing the face of fashion photography by creating a complex narrative around an item or model, rather than just focusing on the product.
The suit includes comparisons of Bourdin’s work to images from the “Hollywood” video. In one Bourdin picture, published online by the Smoking Gun, a lingerie-clad woman straddles a chair against a steamy red backdrop. Ditto Madonna.
In another Bourdin image, a nearly naked woman straddles a black-and-white TV. Same goes for Madonna. And the list goes on: A woman in red undies checks herself out in round mirror. Yep, Madonna’s got that montage, too.
Article by Lia Haberman Source: E! Online
In a recent issue of French magazine Photo, there was an interesting article on the Madonna/Bourdin lawsuit. The magazine interviewed Samuel Bourdin‘s lawyer, John Koagel, who gave out more details on what kind of compensation his client wants.
Photo: How did it all began?
Koagel: The story started last July, in France. A friend of Samuel Bourdin was watching tv one night and he happened to see Madonna‘s video for Hollywood. He immediately called Samuel Bourdin in the United States and he as well watched the video. It was clear to him that, the video it’s way more than a simple homage.
Photo: Did Madonna and Mondino asked to be authorized from the sons of Guy Bourdin?
Koagel: Not at all.
Photo: How can you say it’s not a simple homage from Mondino, who is an author that might have been inspired by the work of someone that is very well known and whose work is exhibited in museums?
It’s cristal clear it’s not an homage if you watch both versions of the video.
Inspiration means that you take the original concept and by using your own artistic conceptions you give new strenght to it. This is not the case. Here, you get the impression that it’s just a copy, a vulgar imitation, a remake of the original in which the actors play the same part and act the same poses and the director recreates the same atmospheare, the same light, and uses the same objects.
Bourdin’s son and his lawyer calculated what they think it’s the right compensation asking $150.000 for each image used in the video. They have found 12 Bourdin inspired “situations” in the main video and an additional scene in the Remix Video.
The final demand is $1.600.000 for the use of 13 images and they also ask for the name of Guy Bourdin to be included in both versions of the video.
The case is discussed in late November or early December.
Article and Translation: The Immaculate for Madonna Tribe
Click on images to read pages from the lawsuit papers