Photographer Sues Jennifer Lopez For Copyright Infringement
Jennifer Lopez is the latest person to join a growing list of celebrities who find themselves defendants in lawsuits filed by photographers. According to an article on diyphotography.net, Michael Stewart is suing Lopez and her production company for copyright infringement.
The Facts of The Case
Dunja Djudjic reported on diyphotography.net that Stewart is a photographer. As part of his work, he took a photograph of Lopez out walking in New York City. Stewart alleges that he licensed the use of that photo to the Daily Mail which, along with an article, published it to its website dailymail.uk.co on June 29, 2018. Stewart claims that he also registered his copyright with the United States Copyright Office.
Lopez allegedly copied the picture from the Daily Mail and posted it on her Instagram feed. Stewart’s lawsuit states that Lopez did not have permission to use the image and violated copyright law when she published it to Instagram.
Copyright Laws Protect Photographers from Unauthorized Use of Photos
Federal copyright laws are clear. The moment you take a photograph, a copyright exists. Filing a copyright registration is not necessary for a copyright to be enforceable. It merely allows you to pursue additional damages if someone violates your copyright.
A copyright means that you retain control over the use and publication of your photo. No one may use it without your permission or a license agreement. Photographers often issue licenses to publishers. It is how they get paid for their work. The terms of consent can vary. Parties can agree to limited use or unlimited use of a photograph. Conditions can include a fixed fee, no fee, or something in between. A photographer can also give up all rights to a picture. Copyright laws exist to ensure photographers retain control over how their images are used and that they are compensated for their work.
Photographers Can Collect Monetary Damages For Copyright Infringement
Stewart’s lawsuit, if successful, may secure him up to $150,000 in compensation. Lopez is just one of many celebrities facing allegations of Copyright infringement. Gigi Hadid, Bruno Mars, and Rod Stewart are just a few famous faces who have been accused of using pictures of themselves without permission from the photographer.
If you are a photographer of celebrities and your images are being used without your permission, consider filing a copyright infringement lawsuit to collect compensation. You should be paid for your work. Call Liebowitz Law Firm, PLLC today at 516-233-1660 to enforce your intellectual property rights.