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Image source: wheretoget.co.uk / Robert Barbera Instagram
Image source: wheretoget.co.uk / Robert Barbera Instagram

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Dua Lipa sued (again) for sharing a paparazzo photo of herself on her Instagram

British pop singer Dua Lipa is being sued for copyright infringement after sharing a photo of her taken by New York-based paparazzo photographer Robert Barbera in July 2018.

The photo in question, which was shared by her on Instagram in 2019 without taking permission from the photographer, shows Lipa wearing a black sweater bearing the word “HEROES” in large capital letters while out in New York City. The post has since been deleted.

Barbera emailed Lipa “multiple times” to inform her that a claim would be filed while attempting to settle the matter outside of court. The communication reportedly “slowed and eventually stopped”, he alleges.

In the copyright infringement lawsuit, Barbera’s attorney Craig Sanders complained that Lipa“volitionally selected, copied, stored and displayed” the photos “without permission or authorization.”

Barbera is seeking damages and penalties from the profits Lipa could have made with the photograph on Instagram.

Typically, the photographer is the sole default owner of the copyright in a photograph; everyone else who appears in the image has no such rights. The use of the photo could be limited by privacy laws or by enforcing image or publicity rights, but the intellectual property rights often belong to the person who took the photo.

This is Lipa's second lawsuit in a year for posting paparazzi pictures of herself online. Integral Images filed a lawsuit against her for copyright infringement in July of last year. In the end, the claim was dismissed with prejudice in October.

Barbera has also brought similar claims against other pop singers, Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. He made two attempts to file lawsuits against Grande in May 2019 and January 2020 over allegations that the singer had posted his images on Instagram. However, both cases were dropped and the lawsuit against Bieber was settled out of court. 

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