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- Gigi Hadid is fighting a copyright infringement lawsuit alleging she posted a paparazzi photo on her Instagram that she didn’t have the rights to use.
- Hadid’s team says she has rights to the photo because she contributed to it by smiling and posing for the camera.
- The "fair use" argument threatens to affect the legality around using the Instagram reposting feature for both celebrities and fan accounts.
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Model Gigi Hadid is fighting a copyright infringement lawsuit over an Instagram photo she posted by arguing she has rights to the picture by posing and smiling for the photographer.
A paparazzi agency sued Hadid in January for copyright infringement involving a photo the model shared to her more than 48 million followers on Instagram. The lawsuit alleges Hadid doesn’t have rights to the photo, and that she posted the photo to her social media in violation of the photographer’s copyright claims.
However, Hadid’s lawyers say the model does have rights to the photo because she contributed to it: She posed and smiled for the camera, chose her outfit, and even cropped the picture before posting it. Hadid is arguing that because of that, the image is fair use, and she didn’t need to obtain permission to use the photo.
The photo in question has since been deleted from Instagram, but it reportedly showed Hadid posing in a denim outfit on the street in New York City.
Pictures of high-profile celebrities, singers and actors are highly covered shots that can rake in hundreds of thousands for well-placed photographers.
Hadid’s argument has the potential to affect the way both celebrities, and their fans, share paparazzi photos online. Making coveted celebrity photos "fair use" would open the field for who can repost certain photos, and could potentially breathe new light into popular fan accounts that have thus far been limited in what they can post because of copyright claims.
It’s the reason why Kim Kardashian said in February that she hired her own personal photographer to take images of her that she has the full rights to, and that her fans could repost on social media without fear of copyright laws.
Hadid has been sued before for copyright infringement for sharing a photo without paparazzi permission, and she isn’t the only one: Ariana Grande, Khloé Kardashian, 50 Cent, and Jennifer Lopez have all been recently sued recently for posting paparazzi images to social media.
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