The federal lawsuit was filed by Splash News and Picture Agency for $150,000 over a picture of Lopez holding hands with Alex Rodriguez in New York City, which the singer shared to her Instagram account in 2017.
According to court documents obtained by E! News, the picture agency claims that it is the owner and exclusive copyright holder of the photo - and that Lopez did not have permission to share the picture.
“Plaintiff never licensed the photograph to the defendant,” the court documents read. “Nevertheless, Lopez used it without authorisation or permission from plaintiff to do so.
“Specifically, Lopez or someone acting on her behalf copied the photograph and distributed it on Instagram, via the @jlo account, on a story posted 7 November 2017.”
The paparazzi agency also alleges that the 50-year-old was informed of her infringement in a letter dated December 2017, and that Lopez’s use of the photo negatively impacted the amount of money the company could have made.
“The photograph is creative, distinctive and valuable,” the company stated in court documents. “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. But defendant’s unauthorised use harms the existing and future market for the original photograph.
“The Instagram post made the photograph immediately available to Lopez’s tens of millions of followers… who would otherwise be interested in viewing licensed versions of the photograph in the magazines and newspapers that are plaintiff’s customers.”
In addition to the $150,000, the agency is also seeking an injunction against Lopez that would stop her and her team from posting the photo in the future, according to the court documents.
Earlier this year, paparazzi photo agency Xclusive-Lee attempted to sue Gigi Hadid for copyright infringement after the model shared one the company’s photos to her Instagram account.
At the time, Hadid shared a lengthy post to Instagram in which she said that she thought the lawsuit was “absurd”.
Explaining the emotional toll the paparazzi can have on those whose picture they are pursuing, Hadid said that she found the picture on Twitter and had “no way of knowing” which photographer took it.
“To the paparazzi, I understand that this is how you make your living, and I respect that this is something I must accept with my job. But there is a line,” Hadid wrote.
The case was eventually dismissed after a New York district judge found that the picture agency had not secured the official copyright registration for the photo by the time it filed the lawsuit, according to Business Insider.
Previously, Khloe Kardashian, 50 Cent, Jessica Simpson and Ariana Grande have also faced copyright infringement lawsuits after sharing paparazzi photographs of themselves to Instagram.
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