The Plagiarism Lawsuit Against Lady Gaga Thickens

UPDATE: On July 19, Paris’ High Court ruled in favor of Lady Gaga in a plagiarism lawsuit filed by French artist Orlan. Since 2013, Orlan had been seeking damages in French courts, claiming the singer stole her signature look, based on facial prosthetics, to create the album cover for 2011’s Born This Way. Not only did Orlan lose the suit, she’s been ordered to pay Gaga $22,000 in legal fees.



Little over two years ago, French artist Orlan launched a lawsuit against Lady Gaga (and the French subsidiary of Universal Music) for plagiarism, to the tune of 7.5 percent of the profits from the Born This Way album, or $31.7 million.

Filed in France, the ongoing suit accuses the singer of co-opting the artist’s original ideas — her facial implants, essentially — to create the imagery for Born This Way. In particular, Orlan cites the cover art, which she says bears a striking resemblance to her sculpture Bumpload from 1989. Further, Orlan claims Lady Gaga’s severed head in the music video is lifted from her sculpture Femme Avec Tête (Woman With Head) of 1996.

While the face prosthetics are at the center of the controversy, Orlan says her overall concept of hybridization was copied, such as birthing oneself, as seen in Orlan’s photo series Orlan S’Accouche d’Elle – M’Aime, dated 1964-66.


Lady Gaga in Born This Way, Orlan’s Femme Avec Tête

Now, according to Page Six, Orlan is attempting to subpoena Lady Gaga’s creative team — as it was in 2011 when Born This Way was released — in a U.S. court for information pertinent to the case. Specifically, her lawyers would like speak with stylist Nicola Formichetti and makeup artist Billy Brasfield under oath.

Those subpoenas were requested yesterday in New York City. Watch this face.

Born This Way video…

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