Social media post leads to IP lawsuit

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2019 | Firm News, White Collar Crimes

When many people in New York think about intellectual property, they might think about patents or trademarks in the setting of what some may call traditional businesses. However, there are many creative forms of works that may be protected by copyrights as well. These protections are utilized by businesses across a wide array of industries. Artistic works including photographs may be copyrighted which opens up the possibility of legal action over them if any copyright is violated.

An example of this can be seen in a recently filed lawsuit involving a photograph and a social media post. The photo was taken by an agency that indicates it is the owner of all intellectual property rights regarding that particular image. In the photo was a woman who is a well-known model. The woman is said to personally manage her social media accounts. While it is not uncommon for a person to post a picture of themselves on social media, that does not mean it is acceptable to post a picture that is copyrighted even if it is of one’s own self.

According to NBC News, the woman posted the copyrighted image of herself taken by the agency on her own social media account. Within four days, the image received more than one-and-a-half million likes. The agency has initiated a lawsuit against the model and is claiming copyright infringement in the matter.

It is not known how much money might be involved in this case but the agency is said to be seeking not only damages for the alleged infringement and intellectual property violation but also lost profits.