In the context of pop culture history, widespread social media use is a relatively new phenomenon, so there are still some wrinkles to iron out. For example, nowadays, celebrities often face lawsuits for posting photos of themselves, photos they did not take and/or to which they do not own the rights. Jennifer Lopez is the latest music star to find herself in legal hot water over this sort of situation, as she is facing a $150,000 lawsuit over an Instagram post.
E! News reports New York photographer Steve Sands suing Lopez and her production company Nuyorican Productions for copyright infringement over a photo of Lopez that she originally posted on June 22, 2017. Court documents read, “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.” They documents go on to claim the photographer is “entitled to statutory damages up to $150,000 per work infringed.”
The suit was filed in Manhattan federal court by lawyer Richard Liebowitz, and he told E!, “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.”
Neither Lopez nor her team have yet to respond to the lawsuit. Whatever the case, love don’t cost a thing, but this Instagram post might.