The first seven seconds of Rihanna's music video for "ROCKSTAR 101" shows a flashing neon sculpture: the illuminated words "ROCK" with the glowing words "STAR" hanging from them.
Even though this image appears before the beat drops and RiRi belts out "I told ya," artist James Clar, who often works in neon lights, is suing the pop star for plagiarizing this part of her music video. Rihanna's neon sculpture looks a lot like Clar's 2006 work You & Me. Clar's piece also uses neon letters hanging from other letters, but instead of "ROCK/STAR," his work spells "YOU/ME":
Clar is asking for $6.64 million in damages and has submitted his complaint to Paris’ Grand Instance Court. According to Clar's lawyer, who is arguing that his client's unique art piece has been reproduced without the artist's permission, “French laws on plagiarism are more favorable in France than in the US.”
Of course, working in the visual field means you often come up against accusations of plagiarism. In 2007, David LaChapelle sued Rihanna for her "S&M" video, which he thought stole images from his Italian Vogue photo shoots. More recently, Damien Hirst was accused of plagiarism when he dressed Rihanna up as Medusa for British GQ.