According to reports, they could face legal consequences if a celebrity posts their photo (taken by a paparazzi) on their social media accounts without proper attribution.
That is what is happening to Miley Cyrus, as she is the current subject of a photographer who has recently gone after a flurry of huge celebrities – all for the same reason.
Dua Lipa, who has also been facing a copyright lawsuit, but for her song “Levitating,” is one of the most recent artists to be hit with the massive lawsuit.
According to Billboard, Miley Cyrus has been sued by photographer Robert Barbara for reposting a 2020 photo of herself (taken by Barbara). Cyrus shared a photo of herself waving to onlookers as she exited a building.
According to reports, Miley’s unlicensed photo was not attributed to Robert Barbara, nor was he asked permission to be reposted.
According to the publication, this lawsuit was not new – especially for Barbara, who has a history of suing artists with the same lawsuits.
For example, even if a celebrity was photographed without their permission, the image’s copyright remains with the person who took it. Being in the photograph does not automatically confer privileges or rights to use it on the subject.
Miley posted it without permission, which is where the legality comes into play.
Lawyer Nancy Wolff stated to Billboard:
“The misunderstanding with celebrities [is] just because they’re the subject of a photo doesn’t mean they have any ownership rights in it. Not everyone really understands the difference between rights of privacy and publicity and copyright.”
Barbera stated in the filing that Law360 obtained that the image was:
“copied, stored, and displayed without license or permission”
He said that with Miley’s 169 million followers, he couldn’t already make money from the photo through licensing.
The lawsuit was filed in a federal court in Los Angeles, seeking actual and statutory damages totaling around $150,000 per infringed work.
Miley Cyrus’ camp has yet to respond to the lawsuit as of this writing.
Earlier this summer, Dua Lipa was served with the same lawsuit. Katy Perry, Ariana Grande, and Justin Bieber were among the celebrities who were sued by Robert Barbara years ago.