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Fashion model sued for copyright infringement

This story comes with a twist. Most high-profile news reports involving a celebrity and allegations of unlawful use typically feature the well-known individual as a victim.

In a “typical” case, that person might file a lawsuit against another individual or commercial entity for unlawful use of a protected work, misappropriation of a name or image or other unapproved use of closely held proprietary matter.

The global fashion model Gigi Hadid was recently in the news involving such a scenario, namely, a lawsuit alleging the “unauthorized reproduction and public display of a copyrighted photograph.”

Hadid’s pictures literally number in the scores of thousands. Ergo, it would be reasonable to assume that the cited litigation features her as a plaintiff demanding relief against an alleged third-party use that infringes her intellectual property rights.

But that’s not the case.

Actually, the litigation was filed in a federal court by professional photographer Robert O’Neil against Hadid. O’Neil seeks money damages against the model for what he claims was her unauthorized posting of one of his copyrighted pictures on her Instagram account.

Hadid is well acquainted with such litigation, given her clear penchant for publicly posting third-party works. A media account chronicling the current litigation notes that Hadid has now been sued three times “for copyright infringement in connection with images she has posted on Instagram.”

O’Neil is demanding up to $150,000 “per work infringed.” The case is currently ongoing.

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