The case of paparazzi suing celebrities for using their own photos is surprisingly common.
For posting a photo of herself lining up at an airport in February 2019 on her Instagram feed, music icon Dua Lipa is being sued by a paparazzi company for allegedly sharing their photo of the pop star “without permission or authorization,” per court documents.
Integral Images, which owns the copyright to the photo, claims that the singer has profited from the photo since her Instagram feed is “monetized” by her music profile. Thus, the company is seeking $150,000 (about P7.5 million) in damages, a jury trial, as well as an order preventing the singer from further acts of infringement, BBC News reported.
The photo, which shows Lipa lining up at the airport while clutching her flight documents, was posted on Lipa’s feed about four days after it was taken. According to records from the US Copyright Office that were reviewed by BBC, the paparazzi company’s request to register copyright of Lipa’s photos was granted about two weeks after it appeared on her Instagram.
The ‘New Rules’ singer has since scrubbed the photo off the social media website. However, the terms of settlement stand, and the company claims that Lipa “knowingly” posted the photo and stood to make money from it.
You might think that the whole affair is absurd, but it’s actually pretty common for celebrities to get sued for posting photos of themselves on their own social media feeds.
Both Kim and Khloe Kardashian have faced the same struggle of acquiring the license to their own photos in the past, while Ariana Grande has dealt twice with the same photographer, Robert Barbera, who accused her of using his photos wherein she is the subject.
The pop star is yet to issue a response as of writing.