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Orlan Loses Plagiarism Suit Against Lady Gaga in France

On July 7, Paris’s High Court ruled in favor of Lady Gaga in a plagiarism lawsuit filed by French artist Orlan in 2013, Victoria Stapley-Brown of Art Newspaper reports. The court also ordered the artist to pay the pop star and her record label $22,000 for the legal proceedings.

In the complaint, Orlan alleged that Lady Gaga reproduced two of the artist’s works: Orlan Bumpload, 1989, a sculpture of the artist with disfiguring bumps, and Woman with Head, 1996, a severed head sitting on top of a table. Orlan also claimed that Lady Gaga’s recitation of The Manifesto of Mother Monster was too similar to the artist’s Orlan’s Manifeste de l’art charnel (Manifesto of Carnal Art). The artist accuses Lady Gaga of infringing on her image rights when she produced her “Born This Way” music video and album cover in 2011. Orlan had asked the court for $31.7 million, or 7.5 percent of the royalties from the album.

The court determined that the messages of the works differed and that the idea of transforming the human body into a hybrid does not belong to Orlan. The artist said that she plans to appeal the decision. Orlan filed a separate suit in New York in January, in which she is asking the court to subpoena the fashion director and makeup artist who collaborated on the “Born This Way” video with Lady Gaga.