Italian Director Claims Plagiarism In Madonna Video

While Madonna's career has been showered with controversy, the release of her "Ray of Light" album has been to this point relatively tame -- by Madonna's standards, at least. Now the record and its accompanying videos are drawing Madonna into the fire once again.

First Madonna received flack for allegedly borrowing a few lines from a poem Max Blagg recited for a 1993 Gap ad on "Sky Fits Heaven" (see "Madonna Gets Lyrical Help From Gap Ad, Freezes For 'Frozen'") a track off of "Light," now an Italian filmmaker claims that the basis of Madonna's new video was taken from a music clip he made four years ago, according to "The Hollywood Reporter."

As we previously reported, the video for Madonna's new "Ray of Light" [700k QuickTime] single was directed by Jonas Akerlund, the man behind Prodigy's video for "Smack My Bitch Up" (see "Madonna Takes It

To The Dance Floor For "Ray Of Light" Video"). Director Stefano Salvati says "Ray of Light" is similar to a clip he submitted to the Madonna-owned imprint, Maverick Records, of a music video he directed for Italian singer Biagio Antonacci's "Non e Mai Stato Subito."

The details of Salvati's claim were not yet known, but both videos are said to feature the respective singers cavorting and dancing at regular speed against a high-speed background. Antonacci's lawyer, who unsuccessfully sued Michael Jackson recently for plagiarism, has requested Maverick to pull the video from distribution, and says that he may seek further damages.

No response yet from Madonna or Maverick Records, but we'll keep you posted.