Jay-Z Sues “Reasonable Doubt” Album Photographer Jonathan Mannion for Unauthorized Use of His Likeness


Copyright infringement is the scourge of the photography world, but what happens when the tables are turned and a photographer is out there selling and using media he captured but isn’t authorized to resell?

Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels.

Well, he gets sued, too, naturally.

Jonathan Mannion worked with rapper Jay-Z on his “Reasonable Doubt” album, a classic by any stretch, and apparently the collaboration hasn’t stopped for the photographer.

That’s because he is allegedly selling merchandise with the rapper’s likeness without permission.

From the complaint:

“Mannion has developed a highly-profitable business by selling copies of photographs of JAY-Z on Mannion’s website and retail store, and by selling licenses to others to use JAY-Z’s image. Mannion has done so on the arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do with them as he pleases. But JAY-Z never gave Mannion the right to use his likeness for these or any other purposes. And without that permission, Mannion has no legal right to do so. JAY-Z has asked Mannion to stop, but he refuses to do so.”

In another interesting wrinkle to this complaint, it is further stated that not only did Mannion refuse to comply but also asked Jay-Z’s team for millions of dollars to stop producing this merchandise.

Whatever is going on, it looks like it will be decided in the courts and probably will hinge on what the original contract between the photographer and Jay-Z states.

What do you think of Jay-Z’s lawsuit? Let us know your thoughts on Jonathan Mannion’s situation in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to check out some of our other photography news on Light Stalking at this link right here.


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Kehl is our staff photography news writer since 2017 and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here and follow him on Insta.

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