Ariana Grande has been sued by a photographer The allegation is that the singer violated copyright laws by posting some pictures of her taken by the photographer. Suing celebrities seems to be increasingly popular among paparazzi who share their posts on social networks.
According to the New York-based photographer Robert Barbera, Arianna Grande was photographed last year by him as she was walking out of a building carrying a bag that read “Sweetener”. On August 17, the day Grande released her “Sweetener” album, the photos were published on Grande’s official Instagram account with the words “Happy Sweetener day” written in the caption.
A screenshot of the photo, that remains published on Grande’s page and has received over 3,000,000 likes, was presented as evidence in court.
“[Grande] infringed [Barbera’s] copyright in the Photographs by reproducing and publicly displaying the Photographs on the Instagram Page,” he wrote in his lawsuit. “[Grande] is not, and has never been, licensed or otherwise authorized to reproduce, publically display, distribute and/or use the Photographs.”
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Robert Barbera is claiming either the profits Grande made from the pictures or a settlement corresponding to $25,000 per picture.
The growing trend of Paparazzi suing celebrities might be due to the fact that it has become increasingly hard for photographers to capitalize on their work in the era of social networks. The social platforms allow celebrities to take control of their image and decide what they want to share with fans, leaving the Paparazzi empty-handed.
However, taking a photo of a public figure in public is legal, and the person that took the picture owns the copyright. If the subject of the picture decides to share it without the consent of the photographer can be sued for copyright infringement.
Grande is the last of a long list of celebrities sued by photographers. In December BuzzFeed News reported that photo agencies were targeting celebs that were using their pictures without crediting the source on their social media. In January Gigi Hadid was sued for posting a picture that a photo agency took.
Jennifer Lopez, 50 Cent, Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian also have been sued, and the trend seems to be continuing.