A viral Instagram video has Snoop Dogg facing a copyright lawsuit for $150,000, Billboard reports. The West Coast rap legend is in hot water over re-posting a video of a man falling to the ground after attempting to climb an office building.
Media outlet FreedomNews.TV filed a case in Los Angeles federal court Monday, Oct. 18, claiming Snoop shared an “exact copy” of their original video of a man attempting to climb the JPMorgan Chase Bank headquarters in New York City.
Snoop initially shared the Instagram video, which has nearly 4.6 million likes, on April 3 with the caption, “Dummy of the Week.” The lawsuit also claims the Def Jam Strategic Consultant did not have permission to share the copyrighted footage and accuses him of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998, which adapts the U.S. copyright laws from 1976 into the digital era.
“Defendant intentionally removed copyright management information related to the video,” FreedomNews.TV told Billboard in a statement. “Defendant purposefully failed to include the video credit originally conveyed with the video in order to mislead the public into believing that defendant either owned the video or had legitimately licensed it.”
It’s unclear whether Snoop Dogg will be held accountable for the content he posts on social media. Yet it brings up a deeper conversation about who owns the rights to celebrity photos.
Photo agencies and photographers are now taking legal action against celebrities who use their paparazzi images without permission. Since most celebrities monetize their social platforms, the fear is that celebrities will profit from sharing their pictures. Yet, Snoop isn’t the first or last artist to face a copyright lawsuit for sharing unlicensed material on social media.
Forbes reports Integral Images sued Dua Lipa earlier this year for sharing a paparazzo image of herself on Instagram. The now-deleted post was shared in February 2019, allegedly without the company’s “permission or authorization.”
That same year, Jennifer Lopez was also sued for sharing a paparazzo photo on her Instagram Story two years ago. According to The Blast, media outlets Splash News and Picture Agency claimed they own the copyright of an image “depicting Lopez holding hands with her then-boyfriend…Alex Rodriguez, while out for breakfast in New York City.”
Justin Beiber, Khloe Kardashian, 50 Cent, Ariana Grande, and other celebs have faced similar copyright cases after posting paparazzi images of themselves on social media.
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