Dua Lipa Battles Copyright Lawsuit Over Unauthorized Paparazzi Photo

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

For picture-perfect a-list celebrities, a tremendous amount of thought and effort goes into each Instagram post. A digital highlight reel of sorts is curated with each and every image documented on the popular, and more serious than others, app. Singer-songwriter, Dua Lipa, is often distinguished and complimented for her near impeccable photos, fashion, and feed, yet her most recent post brought on a major faux-pas and an unwelcome lawsuit against Integral Images. 

Unfortunately, the British-Albanian pop icon did not take every necessary precaution before posting a paparazzi-shot photograph of herself on Instagram. The referenced image depicts the stunning and fashion-forward artist at the airport sporting a bold and prominent hat. The singer, who likely aimed to show off her daring fashion choice, did not receive appropriate permission and licensing from the paparazzi photographer and now faces copyright infringement charges and battles a lofty lawsuit as a result. The photograph in question, which was posted a few years ago, on February 7th, 2019, has since been deleted off of Dua Lipa’s main and self-titled Instagram account.

Integral Images, the paparazzi company that shot Lipa on February 3rd, 2019, filed a copyright lawsuit over two years later, on July 6th, 2021. The existing lawsuit against the music mogul stands in violation of US copyright law for publishing an unoriginal photo without permission nor authorization. The company now demands $150,000 from Dua Lipa, as they claim that this sum serves as appropriate reparation for the damages endured by Integral Images. Dua Lipa, because of her fame and mass following, utilizes her social media platform, particularly her Instagram account, as a monetization means and marketing tool in order to promote her upcoming and existing music and personal brand/image. Because of this, posting the unauthorized image earned Lipa revenue which is arguably unlawful, and can be contended to have truly belonged to Integral Images. Because of this, scandal and legal action have emerged.

Though Dua Lipa’s copyright-based lawsuit is the current situation at hand, the debacle is not a foreign one for Hollywood socialites; various celebrities have been sued over Instagram photos and have experienced different legal outcomes over their unlawful posts. Lipa sits among a lengthy list of celebrated and acclaimed names as, with more and more frequency in recent years, paparazzi photo agencies scramble to defend their respective rights regarding their intangible property. Celebrities who have faced similar litigation cases in previous years include Jennifer Lopez, Gigi Hadid, Justin Bieber, Khloe Kardashian, and Ariana Grande. 

As a big social media star, posting images comes with an expensive price tag and a lot of responsibility; however Dua Lipa’s case may fare in court, we are sure she’s learned that it is crucial to receive licensing, and of course, give credit where it’s due.