Justin Bieber is officially facing a copyright infringement lawsuit for uploading a picture of himself and his wife to Instagram.
One Josiah Kamau, “a professional photographer by trade,” just recently submitted the straightforward action to a California federal court. Worth noting here is that under U.S. copyright law, members of the paparazzi own the rights to photos that they take of celebrities and other public figures.
Consequently, the likes of Katy Perry, Dua Lipa, and Ariana Grande have been slapped with copyright infringement lawsuits for uploading photos of themselves – captured by litigious lensmen, that is – to social media.
Kim Kardashian has gone as far as hiring a photography team to travel with her in an effort to avoid image-related headaches, and music industry news platforms and organizations have likewise been named in complaints pertaining to the allegedly unauthorized use of photos.
But this latest image-focused copyright infringement lawsuit involving Bieber – which isn’t the first such action against the 28-year-old – centers on a shot that New York-based Josiah Kamau “authored” on February 8th, 2020.
That same day, “a color distorted copy” of the picture, showing Justin and his wife Hailey crossing the street, made its way onto Bieber’s Instagram account. The photo “was copied, stored and displayed without license or permission,” per Kamau, and remains live on the “Ghost” artist’s social media profile.
Then, late March of 2020 saw the paparazzo plaintiff register the image with the U.S. Copyright Office, the concise suit explains. Bieber “has received a financial benefit directly attributable to the” shot, Kamau’s action claims, and the photog is seeking “actual damages and disgorgement of all” related profits.
At the time of this piece’s writing, Justin Bieber (who’s currently on tour) didn’t appear to have commented publicly on the complaint. Incidentally, however, the two-time Grammy winner (and 22-time nominee) looks to have credited photographers on most of his recent Instagram uploads.
Besides Rory Kramer, who joined Bieber’s team in 2016, professionals like Alfredo Flores, Kevin Mazur, and Evan Paterakis have received image crediting from Bieber on Instagram during the past seven days alone.
In other music industry legal developments, a sexual assault lawsuit against Snoop Dogg was dismissed this week – just two or so months after it was filed – and Bob Dylan triumphed in the “downright absurd” action that he was targeted with in relation to his reportedly $300 million Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) catalog sale.