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Celebrity sued ... for posting image of herself

It's not uncommon for celebrities -- movie stars, singers, pro athletes, fashion icons and others -- to take aggressive legal action to protect themselves and their family members against unlawful invasions of privacy and/or the denigration of their reputations and brands.

Well-known public figures are often defamed or otherwise attacked by third parties. Similarly, their names, images and intellectual property are frequently misappropriated for profit.

Sometimes, though, it is that other party that seeks a legal remedy and damages for action that is allegedly taken by the celebrity.

Just such a twist in circumstances involves singer, actress and fashion designer Jessica Simpson in an intellectual property spat that recently turned legal with the filing of a copyright infringement lawsuit by Splash News and Picture Agency.

That entity sells celebrity-linked stories and images to various media outlets, and its federal filing late last month contends that it was prevented from doing in Simpson's case by unlawful action taken by the entertainer herself.

Reportedly, Splash is the copyright owner of select Simpson images, which its lawsuit states it intended to profit from through generating license revenues from sales to magazines and newspapers.

The filing states that Splash lost that opportunity when Simpson posted the photos without permission on her social media accounts. Splash claims that doing so was an authorized act of theft that eliminated the value of Splash's copyrighted material.

The company seeks $25,000 in damages for Simpson's alleged act. Its federal complaint filed in a California court names both Simpson and a television outlet that ran the photos from her online platforms and credited her as the copyright owners as co-defendants.

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