The world of celebrity culture comes with paparazzi and photographers taking pictures of you every second. Unfortunately, in a world where celebrities are so used to being the sole proprietors of their image, the idea of needing a licence to use a photograph even if it is of your own image does not seem to have caught on. Katy Perry is one of the latest celebrities to be sued for not acquiring the licence to use a photograph of herself in a Halloween costume (dressed as Hilary Clinton).
Last month a lawsuit was filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California. BackGrid (a celebrity news outlet) has claimed ownership for the alleged photograph and is suing Katy Perry for $150,000.
BackGrid stated that once it became aware that Katy Perry had posted the image on Instagram to her 86.3 million viewers, it sent the singer a cease and deceased letter in 2017. However, the musician failed to obtain a licence to use the picture. As a result, BackGrid has interpreted Katy Perry’s actions as constituting willful infringement of its copyright.
Furthermore, the agency noted that Katy Perry’s unauthorised use of the photograph affected the photographer’s revenue, as he was supposed to receive some remuneration from other media outlets such as TMZ and the Daily Mail for use of the photograph. In addition, as the musician is known for posting about her business ventures on Instagram and using it to promote products, it commercially undermines the photographer’s use of the photograph. Consequently, one can only wait to see if Katy Perry will choose to settle this out of court or if her legal team will put up a defence to the lawsuit.