Why Are Celebrities Sued For Sharing Their Own Photos

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Why Are Celebrities Sued For Sharing Their Own Photos

Celebrities and the paparazzi have a notoriously tense relationship. From accusations of invasion of privacy to criticism of unflattering photos, stars have regularly hit out at those who are paid to pursue them.

But in the last couple of years, a new wave of complaints has started flowing from the other side.

A number of well-known celebrities, including Jennifer Lopez and model Gigi Hadid, have had lawsuits filed against them for posting paparazzi images on their social media accounts.

So what exactly is going on with these copyright disputes?

You might think that being the subject of an image means you can use it freely.

But according to copyright law, it’s the photographer who usually owns an image’s rights unless it’s been licensed to a third party like their agency or employer.

So whether you’re a celebrity who has been pepped leaving the latest Hollywood hotspot or someone who posed for a friend, the ownership of the photograph typically falls to the person who pressed the button.

Neel Chatterjee, a US lawyer who specializes in high-profile intellectual property disputes, says social media has created an “enormous amount of complexity” in the field.

He says in part the problem is caused because functions like online re-tweets allow images to proliferate quickly far beyond the control of the copyright holder.

In recent lawsuits, photograph agencies have claimed that it’s not fair for celebrities to reproduce and distribute their images to their millions of fans without a license. Some have even appealed for compensation for loss of earnings.

The stakes are made even higher because of the monetary value of some of the social media feeds in question, with some earning up to $1m per sponsored post on platforms like Instagram.

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Why Are Celebrities Sued For Sharing Their Own Photos

Khloe Kardashian was among the first people to be publicly pursued in one of these copyright cases.

She was sued for infringement in 2017 after posting a paparazzi photograph of herself visiting a Miami restaurant on her Instagram feed.

Xposure Photos, a UK-based agency, sought damages of more than $175,000 for the post.

They said the image, which had been exclusively licensed to the Daily Mail, was used by Khloe without their permission and their accreditation had been erased.

They argued her post, shared to almost 67m followers, constituted “wilful, intentional, and malicious” infringement of their copyright.

Kardashian eventually deleted the image and both sides agreed to dismiss the suit last year.

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Mr Priceless
A young person with a passion for success and excellence to develop a professional career that encourages empowerment in the overall development of a person which is achieved through hard work. A Journalist with facts and a difference; standing by the truth all the time with interests in Science & Technology, Health, Celebrities' Lifestyle, Crimes, Education and Career Improvement.

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