Another day, another celebrity challenging a paparazzi’s rights to ownership over a photo of the star. But this story has a unique twist in that model Gigi Hadid hopes to take back ownership of paparazzi photographs of her by claiming her smile and outfit constitutes her participation in the photo and thus gives her part ownership.
In a response to a lawsuit filed by Xclusive-Lee which is taking Hadid to court because she posted one of their photos of her to her Instagram account, Hadid’s legal team argues that her participation in the photos and subsequent posting of them to her Instagram account is a case of fair use. The argument goes that, “because Ms. Hadid posed for the camera and thus herself contributed many of the elements that the copyright law seeks to protect.”
Further bolstering her argument, Hadid’s team says that she isn’t making any money off of the photo, arguing that, “Ms. Hadid merely reposted the photograph to her Instagram page and made no effort to commercially exploit it…Her reposting thus reflected a personal purpose different than the photographer’s purpose in taking the photograph, which was to commercially exploit Ms. Hadid’s popularity.”
As The Verge points out, why this is a big deal is because it fundamentally changes the way paparazzi photos are handled and considered by courts. If Gigi Hadid’s team can successfully argue that she contributed to the photograph in some meaningful way, then it really has a lot of ramifications for paparazzi photos and how they are treated. In detailing a history of celebs and paparazzi lawsuits, The Verge reminds us that Kim Kardashian only posts photos to her Instagram account that she owns so that her fans can share them without repercussions as one example of how paparazzi ownership rights over photographs are a big deal for celebrities.
What do you think? Do celebrities contribute to a photo that a paparazzi takes and thus have some ownership over its content? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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