It sometimes seems as if celebrities can get away with anything. Like there is nothing that can’t be taken care of with the help of good looks and piles of cash. But that’s not always the case. Just ask Gigi Hadid. The supermodel has been repeatedly slapped with lawsuits for posting pictures on Instagram without getting the approval of the person who took them. The most famous case (but by no means the only one) was in 2019 when a New York photo agency sued her after the alleged uncredited use of an image on her Instagram account. “Most if not all of these photographs were posted by Hadid without license or permission from the copyright holder”, the agency said. Supermodel Jelena Noura “Gigi” Hadid is being sued by a photo agency from New York for violating copyright law. According to Xclusive-Lee, Hadid illegally used a photo of herself that belonged exclusively to them on one of her Instagram posts. The image featured the model staring directly at the camera with a denim outfit and silver-styled heels. It was eventually removed following the lawsuit. Based on the complaint, “Hadid had first-hand knowledge that copying and posting photographs, of herself or other subject matters, to her Instagram or other social media accounts that she did not properly license or otherwise receive permission from the copyright holder constituted copyright infringement.”
Xclusive-Lee further revealed that during their submission of the lawsuit, no less than 50 instances of uncredited image use were discovered on Hadid’s Instagram account which covered numerous different media events and runaway photographs.
Not only Gigi
More and more famous people are being charged for the unauthorized use of copyrighted images of themselves (typically captured by paparazzi) and the legal claim against Hadid is the most prominent example of this growing trend. A BuzzFeed News article stated that photo agencies have gotten increasingly hard-lined with celebrities who utilize their photos without proper license or permission, even if they were merely intended for social media purposes.
Aside from Hadid, the list of big names who suffered the same harsh treatment from photo agencies include Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent, and Jessica Simpson. Because of this new trend, several celebrities took fines worth thousands of dollars while some settled their disagreements before reaching court trial “The photographer owns the copyright to the photograph; it doesn’t matter who is in it,” entertainment lawyer Bryan Sullivan told BuzzFeed News. “The subject of the photo doesn’t have any rights to the picture as long as it was taken in a public place.”