British pop singer Dua Lipa is being sued yet again for copyright infringement after sharing a photo taken of her by a paparazzi photographer to her Instagram account without his permission.
Copyright law can be a bit of a minefield and Dua Lipa isn’t the first celebrity to get caught in its crossfires. We recently reported on how Snoop Dogg doesn’t understand copyrizzle (opens in new tab) after NAS was sued for sharing an infamous photo of himself and Tupac, taken by Al Pereria in 1993.
It turns out Snoop was very much under the impression that if you’re in the photo you own the photo and not only that but that the photographer should pay you for being in it.
Robert Barbara is the New York-based photographer who has filed a lawsuit against Dua Lipa at the US District Court in the state of California for using an image he took in July 2018 without his permission. The 26-year-old 'Levitating' singer who has now amassed more than 84.4 million followers on Instagram posted the photo in 2019 but removed it after receiving a complaint from the photographer.
Barbara is seeking damages and profits from Dua Lipa’s Instagram page where the image was shared. According to Billboard (opens in new tab), the claim reads “Without permission or authorization from plaintiff, Defendant volitionally selected. Copied, stored and displayed each of plaintiff’s copyright protected photographs.”
Attorney Craig Sanders continued the filing, “Upon information and belief, the Infringements increased traffic to the Account and, in turn, caused Defendant to realize an increase in the revenues generated via Defendant’s promotional events and the sale of Defendant’s musical works.”
This isn’t the first time Barbara has tried to sue a celebrity for copyright infringement. In 2019 he attempted to sue Ariana Grande for using his images without permission but his claim was rejected and in the same year he took Justin Bieber to court over infringement but settled the matter outside.
According to the Gov.UK (opens in new tab) website, copyright law states that “Photographs, illustrations and other images will generally be protected by copyright as artistic works. This means that a user will usually need the permission of the copyright owner(s) if they want to perform certain acts, such as copying the image or sharing it on the internet.”
Unfortunately, that means for artists like Dua Lipa, no matter how good you think you look in a paparazzi photo, you need to get clear, written permission to post it otherwise you’ll have an angry photographer on your hands.