Lisa Rinna fights back against paparazzi agency suing her for $1.2 million for posting photos of her own image on social media
Lisa Rinna is being sued by a paparazzi agency for posting paparazzi photos of herself and her daughters on her Instagram page because she won’t be bullied into forking over millions of dollars.
The Real Housewives star is being sued for $1.2 million by Backgrid (an agency that represents paparazzi) for posting paparazzi images of herself and her daughters on her Instagram page. Backgrid says Rinna violated “copyright infringement claims.” As The LA Times puts it, “Copyright law generally protects writing or images produced through some creative effort. To the casual viewer, paparazzi photos may not look all that creative, but that’s not how courts have seen it.” Backgrid says they cannot make money off the images of her if she’s already shown the photos to her millions of Instagram fans.
This happens to famous people all the time, but the LA Times says that most celebs just pay the paparazzi agency whatever they are demanding. Some celebs, like Kim Kardashian, eventually hire their own photographers to take photos in the “style of” paparazzi pics.
Rinna, however, is fighting back and refusing to pay the bullying paparazzo group and honestly, good for her.
“I’ve always seen it as a very symbiotic relationship,” Rinna told The Times. “It was part of the game, if you’re going to be in this business. I’ve been nice, I’ve never fought with them, I’ve never run from them. My kids grew up with them jumping out of the bushes in Malibu. We’ve had a very good relationship with the press and the paparazzi. That’s why this is so shocking to me.”
The irony is that the paparazzi only make money because celebrities exist. They are suing the person who made these photos possible! The paparazzi claim a “loss of earnings” when celebrities re-post the pap images on social media, but the paps wouldn’t have “earnings” to report if the celebs didn’t let them take their photos in the first place! What a wild and toxic cycle of greed!
In her lawsuit, Rinna says it’s unfair that Backgrid can “benefit from the exploitation of Ms. Rinna’s images, while she allegedly remains unable to use these photographs for her own, personal purposes.”
However, Neel Chatterjee, a Silicon Valley attorney who specializes in intellectual property cases, told The Times that unfortunately, thems the breaks if you’re a famous person in Hollywood.
“At some level, this is the price tag of social media and paparazzi converging,” Chatterjee explained. “In a sense, it’s the cost of doing business if you’re a celebrity and you’re living off promotion of your own image.”