Dua Lipa, a British musician, is being sued for allegedly sharing a paparazzi shot of herself on Instagram.
Integral Images sued the British singer on July 6 for posting one of their pictures on Instagram “without permission or authorization,” a violation of US copyright law.
According to BBC News, the firm claims that the singer benefited from the photo since her Instagram account is “monetized.”
“The Account is monetised in that it contains content designed to accumulate followers who are directed to, via link and/or advertisement, consume and purchase Defendant’s content, Defendant profits from these activities,” the complaint states.
It is suing for $150,000 (£108,000) in damages and has requested a jury trial.
The photo, which was shared on February 7, 2019 but later removed, shows the actress waiting in line, clutching her plane ticket and passport while wearing an enormous hat.
“I’ll be living under big fluffy hats until further notice,” she said in the caption.
The firm is also seeking an injunction to prohibit the artist from committing additional acts of infringement, as well as legal fees.
According to copyright law, the photographer, not the subject of the image, owns the rights to a photograph.
The British singer is not the first star to face legal action for resharing paparazzi photos of themselves on social media, with Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber also facing similar charges in 2019.
Splashy News and Picture Agency sued singer Jennifer Lopez in 2019 for sharing a photo of herself and retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez, her lover at the time, but the agency later voluntarily withdrew the suit with prejudice.
According to US Copyright Office documents, Integral Images requested to register copyright for the images, and the request was approved on 20 February 2021 – after Lipa’s Instagram post.
In recent years, celebrities have found themselves on the receiving end of legal proceedings as picture agencies fiercely safeguard their intellectual property. While the value of celebrity paparazzi pictures has decreased over time, the value of social media posts has increased, shifting the power balance between the two sides and leaving some agencies fighting for a cut of the revenues.
Similar lawsuits have been filed against model Gigi Hadid, actor Liam Hemsworth, and reality television star Khloe Kardashian.
Lipa has had a great year outside of the court matter, winning best album at the Brits and best pop album at the Grammys for her lockdown remedy Future Nostalgia.