We recently discussed a new trend in celebrity copyright litigation on our YouTube channel and podcast (The Briefing on YouTube). Specifically, we discussed celebrities taking a stand and defending copyright claims brought by photographers against celebrities who reposted photos on their social media accounts. Two specific celebs who have taken a stand are
With the proliferation of social media and the ready access to images on the Internet and on any number of platforms, it’s just so easy to copy an image or video that moves you and post it on your social media accounts. Easy to imagine how this can happen. However, it’s important to remember that just because an image is posted on the internet or on a social platform doesn’t mean one can copy it and post it as your own. Over the past two years, Justin Bieber, Emily Ratajkowski, Katy Perry, Gigi Hadid, Khloe Kardashian, LeBron James, Deshaun Watson and others have found themselves being named in lawsuits for copyright infringement arising out of just that; posting a photo of themselves on their social media accounts where the photo was taken by someone else. While the majority of these cases settle, a few celebrities have decided to fight back.
In 2019 model and actress Emily Ratajkowski was sued over one of her Instagram stories featuring a photo of her that was taken by a paparazzi. The photo showed her holding a vase of flowers covering her face while she was walking in NYC. In October 2019, she filed a motion for summary judgement, attacking the plaintiff and his counsel, Richard Liebowitz, claiming that they “have brought this case in bad faith, attempting to turn a critical internet post that was available for only 24 hours into an unsubstantiated payday”, and raising a potentially viable defense – fair use.
Continue Reading Copyright Risks of Posting a “Non-Selfie”