Model Gigi Hadid has come out on top in the court battle with paparazzi agency who accused her of illegally profiting off their work.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, a Federal Court judge sided with Hadid and dismissed the case filed by Xclusive-Lee Inc, which claimed the model used their copyrighted photos on social media without permission.
The judge said, “At most, the complaint alleges—and, indeed, Plaintiff appears to concede—that, at the time it commenced this action, it had only applied for a copyright in the Photograph” and didn’t actually have a copyright.
The order stated, “the Court concludes that Plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim should nevertheless be dismissed due to Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the registration requirement.” The case will be officially closed and all claims dismissed.
As The Blast first reported, Xclusive-Lee Inc. sued the model, accusing her of taking a photo they took of her in October 2018 and posting it on her Instagram without paying them or getting permission (she deleted it a short time later).
The suit claimed that Hadid should have known better because she has been sued for this before (that case settled quickly, they claim).
The lawsuit states, “Prior to October 12, 2018, Hadid had first-hand knowledge that copying and posting photographs, of herself or other subject matters, to her Instagram or other social media accounts that she did not properly license or otherwise receive permission from the copyright holder constituted copyright infringement.”
Xclusive-Lee Inc. sued demanding an injunction against Hadid from using their work ever again and for all profits she made from using their photo without permission.
Hadid had tried to get the case dismissed accusing the photo agency of trying to shake her down for money.
In her filing, Gigi Hadid argued, “It is an unfortunate reality of Ms. Hadid’s day-to-day life that paparazzi make a living by exploiting her image and selling it for profit. This lawsuit takes that practice to a new level: the Complaint seeks substantial monetary damages from Ms. Hadid based on allegations that she found a copy of a photograph of herself online and reposted it to her personal Instagram account, where it remained for a matter of days.”
She said the lawsuit was nothing more than an effort to “extract” money from her in hopes she would pay a settlement to avoid dealing with the case.