When the average person in California uploads a photograph on Instagram, it is highly unlikely it will draw the attention of millions of viewers, unless it happens to go viral for some reason. When the Instagram user is a pop music star, it is not only common but probable that a photograph of interest will get millions of "likes." Ariana Grande, one of the world's leading contemporary music artists, is currently entangled in business litigation regarding copyright issues on two photographs of herself that she apparently posted on the popular social media site.
While some photographers might consider it a compliment if the subject of their photographs wants to share the images with others. In this case, however, the photographer is suing Grande for using two of the shots he took of her without his permission. His claim states that the photographs were registered with the U.S. Copyright Office and Grande had no right to post them on Instagram, even though she is the subject of the photos.
The photographer is seeking a monetary judgment for damages of $25,000 per photo or the profits Grande earned from the posts. She apparently is not the only celebrity to face such a lawsuit. Jennifer Lopez, Khloe Kardashian and Jessica Simpson have also been sued for posting pictures of themselves on social media sites that they reportedly acquired and used from other online sites without the photographers' permission.
Business litigation laws regarding copyright and digital assets can be quite complex. A California business law attorney can help a client on either end of this issue. Whether a person wishes to file a copyright claim or is being sued for using a photograph online, it pays to allow an experienced attorney to advocate on one's behalf.