Integral Images has filed a lawsuit in a California court on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, against Dua Lipa for posting a paparazzi photo of herself on Instagram.
The photo of the Pop star was taken in February 2019. In the photo, Dua Lipa can be seen standing in line at an airport. The singer eventually posted the photo on her Instagram later that month.
Usually, the photographer is the default owner of the copyright in photography, and anyone that appears in the photo has no claim under copyright law. They might be able to restrict the use of the image by enforcing image or publicity rights, but the intellectual property rights belong to the whoever took the shot. The lawsuit states:
Defendant, without permission or authorisation from plaintiff, actively copied, stored, and/or displayed plaintiff’s photograph on the account and engaged in this misconduct knowingly and in violation of the United States copyright laws.
Posting images on Instagram doesn’t mean the whoever uploaded the image wants to commercialize it, except plaintiffs in these cases state that an Instagram profile is a marketing tool for whatever any one celebrity is promoting just now, and that makes the use of images on those profiles commercial.
Integral Images’ lawsuit says:
Dua Lipa’s Instagram 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.