Jennifer Lopez is being sued for posting a photo of herself on Instagram.
New York photographer Steve Sands is accusing Lopez and her production company Nuyorican Productions for copyright infringement and seeks an excess of US$150,000 in damages, according to court documents.
The photo in question was posted to the 50-year-old singer’s Instagram page in 2017 but Sands is arguing that the photo was used without permission to “promote their brand” to her Instagram followers.
“Defendants did not license the Photograph from Plaintiff for its Website, nor did Defendants have Plaintiff’s permission or consent to publish the Photograph on its Website,” the lawsuit reads.
According to the court docs, Sands is “entitled to statutory damages up to $150,000 per work infringed.”
The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court by lawyer Richard Liebowitz who told E! News, “This is an example of celebrities using photographers’ photographs without permission to brand themselves on social media. The number of likes the photograph receives coupled with their number of social media followers is a tool to commercialize their posts.”
In 2019, Lopez was sued for copyright infringement over a photo she posted to her Instagram Story in 2017.
The lawsuit, filed by Splash News and Picture Agency, is in regards to a photo of Lopez and Alex Rodriguez holding hands on a sidewalk in New York City, according to court documents.
“Plaintiff never licensed the Photograph to defendant. Nevertheless, Lopez used it without authorization or permission from plaintiff to do so,” the suit stated. “Specifically, Lopez or someone acting on her behalf copied the Photograph and distributed it on Instagram, via the @jlo account, on a story posted November 7, 2017.”
“The Photograph is creative, distinctive, and valuable,” according to the court docs. “Because of the subject’s celebrity status, and the Photograph’s quality and visual appeal, plaintiff (and the photographer it represents) stood to gain revenue from licensing the Photograph.”
The company was seeking $150,000 and an injunction against Lopez and her team to stop them from posting the photo again.