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Perhaps an unaccustomed perspective: paparazzi as victim

A recent Law Offices of Barry K. Rothman blog post squarely spotlighted what a number of people might reasonably take a moment or two to wrap their minds around.

Namely, that is this: paparazzi suing the celebrities they photograph for their subsequent use of such photos, which were taken without the well-known person’s permission in the first place.

Our September 26 blog entry underscored model Gigi Hadid’s role as defendant in a lawsuit filed by a photographer seeking damages for Hadid’s uploading on her Instagram account his pictures taken of her.

Paparazzi/celebrity litigation typically involves lawsuits filed against the former. It is often alleged that photographers crossed legal lines in invading privacy and exploiting a public figure’s name and/or likeness.

A recent string of such cases put a reverse twist on the norm, though. It has now become commonplace for a photographer who has taken pictures of a celebrity without permission to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against that individual for using them without paying for the privilege.

As noted, the Hadid case is hardly an anomaly. In fact, a case involving ex-Spice Girl Victoria Beckham follows in its near wake and has closely similar material facts.

Beckham was recently sued by a photographer in federal court for posting her own likeness online without paying for the right. The plaintiff claimed that his pictures taken of Beckham – even without her consent – are his exclusive intellectual property and that her use of them without his permission is an unlawful infringement.

Reportedly, the spat settled outside court quickly after the litigation was filed.

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