Photographer Robert O’Neil has filed a federal suit against the model and her company, Emrata Holdings Inc., for using his copyrighted picture, The Blast reports.
O’Neil is a professional paparazzi who captured a photo of Ratajkowski walking in New York. In the photo, she’s clutching a bouquet of flowers, which cover her face, according to the outlet. The suit says the model took his work and posted it on her Instagram Stories, alongside the caption “Mood Forever.” He claims Ratajkowski never compensated him for his work or asked permission to post it—and that he lost a lot of money from her sharing the image with her 24 million followers.
“Defendants infringed Plaintiff’s copyright in the Photograph by reproducing and publicly displaying the Photograph on the Website,” the lawsuit says. “Defendants are not, and has never been, licensed or otherwise authorized to reproduce, publically display, distribute and/or use the Photograph.”
O’Neil is looking for $150,000 for each violation, as well as all profits Ratajkowski made from his work. “Plaintiff is entitled to statutory damages up to $150,000 per work infringed for Defendants willful infringement of the Photograph.”
Emily O’Hara Ratajkowski is an American model and actress born in London and raised mainly in San Diego, California. She rose to prominence in 2013, after appearing topless in the music video for Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”, which became the number-one song of the year in several countries.
Last week, Justin Bieber was the target of a similar lawsuit after sharing a paparazzi picture earlier this year. The photographer filed a lawsuit against the pop star for copyright infringement.
However, just a couple of days ago, the photographer told the court he was dismissing the lawsuit because he and Bieber reached a settlement.
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