16 September 2019CopyrightRory O'Neill

Gigi Hadid again sued over Instagram repost

Model Gigi Hadid is facing another copyright infringement lawsuit as a result of her activity on Instagram.

In January, WIPR  reported that Hadid had been sued for reposting an image of herself on the social media platform without the permission of the photographer.

That suit followed a similar complaint filed in 2017, in which freelance photographer Peter Cepeda alleged that Hadid had posted a photograph he took of her on Instagram without his permission.

The photograph at the heart of the latest suit is of Zayn Malik, former member of pop band One Direction.

In the complaint, filed at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Friday, September 13 freelance photographer Robert O’Neil said that he was the rightful owner of the copyright for the photo of Malik.

“Gigi Hadid is not, and has never been, licensed or otherwise authorised to reproduce, publicly display, distribute and/or use the photograph,” the complaint said.

O’Neil is seeking $150,000 in statutory damages, as well as attorneys’ fees.

The January 2019 complaint against Hadid in relation to the photo she reposted of herself was thrown out in July after it emerged that the plaintiff Xclusive-Lee had not registered the copyright for the photo with the US Copyright Office by the time the suit was filed.

That decision followed a ruling of the US Supreme Court in March this year in Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corporation v, which held that copyright infringement suits cannot be filed until after the Copyright Office has granted registration for the work at issue.

At the heart of Fourth Estate was a debate over when “registration” was deemed to have occurred under section 411 of title 17 of the US Code, which governs copyright infringement suits.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court rejected Fourth Estate’s “application approach”, which argued that “registration” occurred when the applicant filed for registration.

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