DUBAI: It’s hardly news when model Gigi Hadid posts a photo of herself on Instagram, but this time the snap could cost the US-Palestinian star dearly.
On Oct. 11, 2018, Hadid posted a photo of herself on Instagram and then deleted the post when she found out she was being “legally pursued” for reposting a street style photo taken by a paparazzo.
Now, the New York company that owns the photo’s copyright, Xclusive-Lee Inc., has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the model.
Forbes reported on the lawsuit, saying the company is seeking “an injunction, statutory damages, any profits realized from the publication of the image, attorneys’ fees and costs” in the complaint that was filed in a federal court in Brooklyn.
The company further claims that Hadid “copied and uploaded” the photograph “without license or permission,” according to Forbes.
Hadid deleted the photo from her Instagram account, but not before it got 1.6 million likes, according to the company’s complaint.
Hadid addressed the issue in October — before the complaint was filed.
“The photo is by a paparazzi and is of me on the street outside an event last week,” the 23-year-old told her millions of followers. “I posed/smiled for the photo because I understand that this is part of my job.”
“These people make money off us every day, legally stalking us day in, day out,” she continued.
“It is not spoken about enough the mental/emotional toll that this kind of pressure has on people, days I (and countless others) have stayed inside because I don’t want my photo taken or to have that attention/suffocation while just trying to live as normally as possible,” the model added.
In the post, Hadid wrote that she found the uncredited image on Twitter and reposted in on Instagram, adding that she “had no way of knowing which of the 15+ photographers outside that day took these exact photos.
“If the person had just commented on my photo, I would have been happy to tag and give you credit,” she added.
“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. 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.”
However, according to Forbes’ report, the law leans toward protecting the intellectual property rights of photographers so the outcome of the case remains to be seen.