Gigi Hadid is being sued by Xclusive Lee Inc, ("Xclusive") for sharing a picture of herself. The allegation is that on 12 October 2018 Hadid posted a photograph entitled "Gigi Hadid on October 11, 2018" to her personal Instagram account.
That may sound so mundane as to be irrelevant: but Gigi Hadid had no right to post the picture. The copyright in the image is in fact owned by Xclusive, as one of its photographers took the photo. Xclusive's lawsuit claims that Hadid has no license or permission to use or disseminate the photograph, and it was accessed by her followers 1.6 million times before it was deleted.
This is not the first time Hadid has found herself in this position: in 2017 photographer Peter Cepeda sued the model on the same grounds. Xclusive argue that this makes her a willing infringer who disregards copyright law.
Hadid 'clapped back' at the claim explaining in a long Instagram post after the event that she found the uncredited picture on Twitter and reposted it. She claims it is absurd that Xclusive is "legally pursuing" her.
This case may well serve as a warning to internet users of all types that sharing or re-sharing photographs to which one does not own the copyright can be a risky endeavour. Celebrities especially should take care not to share pictures of themselves if they don't know who the owner is, or, more importantly, how litigious they are.
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in: Copyright, EU/International