Splash News and Picture Agency is claiming in the lawsuit that Jennifer Lopez posted one of their photos to her Instagram story in 2017

By Eric Todisco
October 07, 2019 05:55 PM
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Jennifer Lopez is being sued for copyright infringement by a photo agency regarding a picture of herself she posted on Instagram in 2017, according to a federal lawsuit obtained by The Blast and E! News.

According to the court docs, Splash News and Picture Agency are suing Lopez for $150,000 and claiming that they are the owners and exclusive copyright holders of the photo she shared to her Instagram story two years ago.

In the photo, the “Medicine” singer and fiancé Alex Rodriguez are pictured holding hands while out in New York City.

“Specifically, Lopez or someone acting on her behalf copied the Photograph and distributed it on Instagram, via the @jlo account, on a story posted November 7, 2017,” the docs state, according to The Blast.

A rep for Lopez did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

Jennifer Lopez

The photo agency claims in the docs that Lopez, 50, had been notified of her “infringement” in a letter to her representative that’s dated Dec. 12, 2017.

“This is an action for copyright infringement brought by plaintiff, the holder of the copyright to the photograph described below, against defendant for use of plaintiff’s photograph without authorization or permission,” the docs add.

“The Photograph is creative, distinctive, and valuable,” the photo agency says in the docs, according to E! News. “Because of the subject’s celebrity status, and the Photograph’s quality and visual appeal, plaintiff (and the photographer it represents) stood to gain revenue from licensing the Photograph.”

The docs continue: “The Instagram post made the photograph immediately available to Lopez’s tens of millions followers and others, consumers of entertainment news—and especially news and images of Lopez herself, as evidenced by their status as followers of her—who would otherwise be interested in viewing licensed versions of the photograph in the magazines and newspapers that are plaintiff’s customers.”

In addition to the $150,000, Splash News and Picture Agency are seeking an injunction against Lopez and her team to stop them from posting the photo in the future, the docs state.

J. Lo
Cindy Ord/Getty

Lopez is far from the first celebrity to be slapped with a lawsuit — photo agencies have also pursued damages from singer Ariana Grande, reality star Khloé Kardashian and model Gigi Hadid (twice!). Grande’s copyright infringement case was settled in July when The Blast reports it was “dismissed and discontinued without cost,” while Kardashian’s was dismissed in February 2018, with each party “bearing their own fees and costs,” according to The Daily Mail. Hadid’s first case was settled out of court in 2018 while the second was dismissed in July.

Days after removing the first photo, Hadid had clapped back by posting a lengthy Instagram rant that addressed the fact that she (and other celebrities) feel like their privacy is invaded by aggressive paparazzi whenever they leave the house.

“Yesterday I heard from my management that I am being ‘legally pursued’ for my last (now deleted) Instagram post. The photo is by a Paparazzi & is of me on the street outside an event last week. I posed/smiled for the photo because I understand that this is part of my job, this was an appropriate situation for ‘the press’ to attend, and also that this is how paparazzi make a living,” Hadid wrote.

“Most circumstances are not this way, i.e. leaving my apartment, or anytime I feel that my privacy is being unreasonably intruded upon, doing everyday things feel harder to face… these people make money off of us every day, LEGALLY stalking us day in and day out- for nothing special- for us to walk six feet to a car and six feet into a work building. They drive dangerously close and extremely recklessly; they put the general public in danger in pursuit of a photo,” the supermodel continued.

Hadid also noted that she and many friends have gotten into car accidents as a result of reckless photographers, and have dealt with the emotional toll of constantly being followed.

“To the paparazzi, I understand that this is how you make your living, and I respect that this is something I must accept with my job. But there is a line,” Hadid added. “We are human beings, and sometimes it takes a lot of courage to engage with you because of the resentment I feel for the negative parts of these experiences.”