Xposure Photos Ltd., a U.K. photography company, sued Khloe Kardashian in federal district court in California, alleging that she infringed the company’s copyright when she posted a photo of herself and her sister, Kourtney, on Instagram.
Xposure alleges that Khloe, who has 67 million Instagram followers, failed to obtain permission to post the photo and didn’t include the proper copyright notice.
In fact, the suit alleged that Khloe (or someone in her organization) altered the photo and removed copyright management information showing Xposure as the copyright owner of the photo.
According to People Magazine (which calls Xposure a “Papparazzi Agency”), the photo shows the Kardashian sisters going into a Miami restaurant.
Xposure licensed the photo to The Daily Mail.
The agency is seeking $25,000 or more in damages, according to Vanity Fair, claiming that it could have profited more from selling the rights to the photo if Khloe hadn’t given it away for free to her followers.
As Vanity Fair reported,
The Hollywood Reporter also noted a similar lawsuit from March when photographer Steven Ferdman sued Sony Pictures for using one of his photos of Tom Holland on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming on the movie’s official Twitter and Instagram account’s without his permission. Holland also posted the photo to his personal Instagram account. Ferdman reportedly dropped the suit in early April.
According to US Weekly,
Kardashian is an avid Instagram user, and sometimes includes sponsored posts. As Us Weekly exclusively revealed last month, she can earn up to $250,000 for promoting just one brand or product on the social platform. Kourtney, 37, can command around the same amount, while Kim Kardashiancan make $500,000 from one campaign.
As a photography blog notes,
It’s something often misunderstood by clients, celebrities, and the general public alike. Just because you appear in a photograph does not mean that you have the legal right to use it.