Artist News Legal

French artist loses Lady Gaga plagiarism case

By | Published on Thursday 28 July 2016

Lady Gaga - Born This Way

French artist Orlan has lost a plagiarism lawsuit against Lady Gaga over the artwork for the musician’s 2011 album ‘Born This Way’ and the music video for its title track.

Orlan alleged that Gaga had ripped off two of her works: ‘Bumpload’, which depicts the artist with bumps over her face and shoulders, and ‘Woman With Head’, which features her severed head on a table. She was seeking $31.7 million in damages, deemed to be 7.5% of profits from the record. However, the High Court in Paris rejected the claim this week, reports Le Journal des Arts.

The court reportedly said in its ruling that Orlan’s art could not be boiled down to just its physical elements because, as conceptual art, its message must also be considered. But in the case of ‘Bumpload’, it said that the concept of transforming a human was not something that Orlan could own.

Under French law, Orlan must now pay 10,000 euros each to the defendants, Lady Gaga and Universal Music. However, the artist has told Artnet that she has already filed an appeal.