In the complicated and messy world of the entertainment industry, many people are unaware that paparazzi have more rights than celebrities.
Miley Cyrus, being the strong-willed individual she is, did not back down from fighting a lawsuit in which she was sued for posting her photo taken by a paparazzi.
Photographer Robert Barbera, who captured Miley Cyrus waving to fans as she exited a building in 2020, filed a complaint against the “Wrecking Ball” hitmaker for reposting a photo of her without the proper license and permission.
Barbara was known for suing artists who did the same thing. He had previously sued Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, and even Justin Bieber, among others.
Billboard reported that Miley’s unlicensed photo did not credit Robert Barbara, nor did he request permission to repost it.
To put it another way, celebrities who have been photographed, even without their permission, do not have the right to post photos. 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.
Barbara claimed in his complaint that the Disney alum has an “immense presence” because of her 9-digit Instagram followers, where she posted it at the time. The embattled paparazzi claim that this has “crippled, if not destroyed,” his ability to make a profit by licensing it.
The lawsuit was eventually dismissed, according to newly obtained exclusive documents obtained by Billboard, siding with Cyrus this time. The photographer could not refile the same allegations in court because it was dismissed “with prejudice.”
Fans are wondering what would have happened if the ruling had gone against the singer instead of the photographer.
Miley Cyrus is expected to pay around $150,000 in combined expenses if the case is pursued and ultimately sides with Barbera.
Most celebrities who are accused of copyright infringement typically pay tens of thousands of dollars for a single infringed photograph. Most celebrities settle out of court for a lower sum to avoid the hassle, effort, and costs of protracted litigation.