Dua Lipa is being sued for posting paparazzi photos of herself to Instagram for the second time in a year, according to court documents filed in U.S. District Court in California. This time, a New York-based photographer named Robert Barbera is claiming the singer committed copyright infringement after posting photos he took of her in July 2018 to the social media platform.
“Without permission or authorization from Plaintiff, Defendant volitionally selected, copied, stored and displayed each of Plaintiff’s copyright protected Photographs,” the complaint, written by attorney Craig Sanders, reads. The photos in question, which were also taken in July 2018 and attached as an exhibit to the suit, show Lipa wearing a black sweater bearing the word “HEROES” in large capital letters.
As in the prior suit, which was brought by a company called Integral Images, Barbera claims that because Lipa uses her Instagram account to advertise her music and brand and promote her business interests, she financially benefitted from posting his copyrighted photos there and harmed the “potential market” for them.
“Upon information and belief, the Infringements increased traffic to the Account and, in turn, caused Defendant to realize an increase in the revenues generated via Defendant’s promotional events and the sale of Defendant’s musical works,” the complaint reads.
Barbera further alleges that after discovering the photos on Lipa’s Instagram account in June 2019, he attempted to resolve the matter outside the courts but that “communication slowed and eventually stopped” after she was provided with a draft copy of the complaint. The images were subsequently removed from her account.
Barbera is requesting actual damages and a disgorgement of all profits attributable to the infringing activity, an order enjoining Lipa from infringing any of his other works, costs of the suit and pre-judgment interest.
Representatives for Lipa and Barbera did not immediately respond to Billboard‘s requests for comment.
Barbera has a history of bringing suit against celebrities for posting his photos to their social accounts. In May 2019, he sued Ariana Grande for posting photos he took of her to Instagram, and followed up with a second, similar lawsuit against the singer in January 2020; both cases were later dismissed. In October 2019, he sued Justin Bieber for the same reason in a case that was quickly settled out of court.
The Integral Images lawsuit against Dua Lipa was dismissed with prejudice – meaning the claim cannot be refiled – in October.