As surprising as it may sound, your image is not entirely yours. At least when you’re an actress or singer and your name is Naomi Watts, Jennifer Hudson or Dua Lipa.
The latter are sued by photographers or by agencies that employ them to post their photos on social networks taken over by the paparazzi. Since June, more than a dozen lawsuits have been filed against celebrities for copyright infringement, report bloomberg,
In fact, even if the subject is not voluntary, the law stipulates that the rights to the image belong to the person who took it, in this case the paparazzi. This means that the photo must not be reused without paying the right to the photo, including by the person taking the photo.
However, many stars use text-covered paparazzi shots to advertise products on social media to their followers.
“It’s like walking into the National Gallery in London and starting stealing paintings from the wall”This enrages Jessel Parshottam, a photojournalist based in Los Angeles who is considered one of the world’s most prolific paparazzi. “I see my pictures posted everywhere and think, ‘Wait, that’s my picture!
These copyright matters are not new, celebrities are often ignorant of the law and post their pictures in good faith. But they recently came into the limelight again with a lawsuit against Lisa Rinna, who is known for her roles in the series days of Our Lives And The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,
harm and interest
Instead of settling out of court, as is the case most of the time, the agency Backgrid USA, which qualifies itself “One of Hollywood’s leading celebrity photography agencies”seeks up to $1.2 million (about one million euros) in damages by Rinna for the publication of eight unauthorized photographs of himself and his daughters.
It’s a shame when these photographers steal thousands of dollars from celebrities’ images, criticizing the star’s lawyer, for whom these lawsuits are just another way for the paparazzi to increase their income.
Under US law, each discovery of an infringement can result in damages ranging from $750 to $30,000, and up to $150,000 in damages for willful infringement. a real treasure.
And according to Lisa Rinna’s defense, the practice is booming. Since 2017 Backgrid has filed nearly two-thirds of the forty-eight lawsuits that were filed in 2020 and the first nine months of 2021, meaning the agency “There was a lot of growth in this revenue-generating exercise”,
Still, the law favors the photographers. “Celebrities who post an unauthorized image for commercial purposes are unlikely to be able to claim fair use, a legal principle that provides an exception to copyright infringement”In a column for Bloomberg Law, intellectual property attorney Elizabeth Wulz says.
Between hidden ads and banned photos, maintaining an Instagram account will become legally more fragile for stars.
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