The Britney Spears Music Video That Was Banned In France

There's no doubt that Britney Spears solidified her legacy as a cultural icon of the late '90s and early '00s to a generation of music lovers in the United States. The songstress is best known for her catchy hit songs such as "...Baby One More Time" and "Toxic," as well as for her frequent appearances in the news because of her high-profile relationships, long-documented personal struggles, and court-ordered conservatorship.

Unfortunately, while many would argue that Spears is a veritable pop princess, it turns out that the entire world hasn't always seen Spears' music in such a positive light — and we're not talking about her online feud with the Catholic Church. It might come as a surprise to even the most dedicated fans that one of Spears' music videos was banned from being aired on television channels across the continent of Europe, and the legal battle that started it all wasn't based on anything related to explicit content or offensive lyrics.

The 'Do Somethin'' video was banned in France

The parent company of fashion label Louis Vuitton, LVMH, took MTV Online and Sony BMG to court in France over Spears' music video for "Do Somethin,'" according to a report from Billboard Online. The article noted that Spears herself was not found guilty of any wrongdoing by the civil court, but Sony BMG and MTV Online were fined 80,000 euros each — $117,000 in USD in 2007 — for their violations of French counterfeiting laws, according to the report.

The reason? Spears is shown driving a pink Hummer SUV in the music video, and the vehicle's dashboard is upholstered with fabric that resembles a pattern from the label called "Cherry Blossoms," complete with the Louis Vuitton "LV" logo. French newspaper Le Figaro reported that the court felt that Spears' image was distant from the luxury image conveyed by the Louis Vuitton brand.

As a result of their loss in the case, the court ordered Sony BMG and MTV Online to stop broadcasting the video for "Do Somethin'" in 2007, with Digital Spy noting that the companies would have to pay the equivalent of $1,470 for each day that they kept the video online.

The Louis Vuitton references were eventually edited out, quoting the Associated Press report on the LVMH case against Sony BMG and MTV Online, stated that the video was in the process of being removed from websites in France at the time of the article's publication in 2007. The outlet further noted that this was not an unusual route for LVMH to take against those it felt were counterfeiting its property.

On the other hand, the ABA Journal noted at the time of the French court ruling that LVMH actually lost a lawsuit against Haute Diggity Dog over its "Chewy Vuiton" plush dog toys in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, with the court ruling that the dog toys were legally protected as a parody of the brand. Spears' video, however, was not so lucky. 

As of this writing, the "Do Somethin'" music video remains available to watch on Vevo, but the offending upholstery that led to the LVMH lawsuit has been edited out. Guess you can't tell Louis Vuitton to "Do Somethin,'" because they actually will.