Paparazzi vs Jennifer Lopez: the latest battle between celebrities and the media

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Splash News, the owner of the photograph in question, filed a court case against Lopez after she posted a photograph of herself and her partner on her official Instagram account. The post was shared on her Instagram story, which makes it available to Lopez’s Instagram followers for 24 hours. Splash News, as the owner of the copyright in the photograph, argue that Jennifer Lopez needed their permission to publish the photo.

The paparazzi also argue that Lopez’s unauthorised use of this photograph has curbed the revenue they could have made from selling or licensing the photograph, had she not made it available to her large number of Instagram followers (over 100 million). Splash News says it lost an audience, who “would otherwise be interested in viewing licensed versions of the photograph in the magazines and newspapers that are plaintiff’s customers”. As a result, this photograph holds less value when being sold or licensed. Splash News are seeking $150,000 in damages to make up the difference, as well as an injunction to prevent Lopez using the photograph again.

Whilst this case is little more than another battle in the ongoing war between celebrities and the media, it helps to dispel the popular misconception that if you’re in a photograph, the photograph in some way belongs to you. The lesson from this case is the reminder to be wary of re-posting images found online, even if they are of yourself.