Imagine you are hired or paid to be their model but prevented from using the artwork depicting yourself. What just happened?
Although You Produced The Outcomes, They Do Not Necessarily Yours
Given the following circumstances, you are paid to work for the outcomes hence it does not mean you can simply claim the ownership. It belongs to the company or any individual who hired you. The same rule applies to people who work in the F&B industry, they do not own the food or beverages they prepared. Additionally, employees do not own the right to publish any documents they produced for the company or any organization.
Similarly, when you allow a photographer to take some photos of you, by default they own all the rights to the artworks they have produced. No one could simply use or reproduce the artworks or illustrations or images without consent unless there is an agreement specifying otherwise.
Paris Hilton Was Sued for Uploading Her Own Photos on Social Media
Last year, a celebrity and businesswoman, Paris Hilton received notice of a lawsuit for alleged Copyright infringement due to the distribution of false Copyright management information and unjust enrichment.
The lawsuit was filed against Paris Hilton in the Central District of California by Claudia Fiorella Occhipinti, an entertainment and celebrity professional photographer based in Los Angeles, California. Back in 2019, Ms. Occhipinti was supposed to shoot and photograph Paris Hilton as the face of goods and to be used as promotional materials for Parlux Ltd, the manufacturer, and distributor of “Electrify” fragrances. Thus, it had come to an agreement with the model in which these photos were only allowed to be used in the packaging, advertising within stores, or conventions related to the fragrance or website connected with the fragrance.
Based on an agreement with Parlux Ltd., Ms. Occhipinti is the sole author and Copyright holder of the photographs depicting Paris Hilton, and the photos were registered with the US Copyright Office on November 18th, 2020 (VA 0002235871). There were no other uses allowed at that time.
Referring to Paris Hilton’s significant internet and social media impacts, the lawsuit indicates several cases of at least three of these photos being published on social media with the purpose to promote different brands and products. As stated to the plaintiff, Paris Hilton had breached the contract by doing so without a license or permission to copy from the photographer’s side thus, the defendant was sent a letter from the plaintiff to inform her about the Copyright’s ownership. This was when the lawsuit was filed. Ms. Occhipinti in the lawsuit demanded to recover the damages and an order to enjoin the defendants from infringing the Copyright further.
Considering photos can simply be taken down from where they had been uploaded, was the photographer exaggerated at this point?
One thing we should understand is, as a professional photographer who recognizes the value and the importance of registering Intellectual Property, Ms. Occhipinti’s income mostly relies on the licensing of her original and commercial works. The action of Paris Hilton breaching the contracts violated the exclusivity of Ms. Occhipinti’s artwork and it is impossible to simply take down all photos after they were exposed to 21.7 million of her followers on her Instagram alone.
However, should Paris Hilton or any public figures have different conditions for how they should be permitted to the photos depicting themselves, they are advised to have a license agreement. Reach out to us if you are keen to know more about registering Intellectual Property and agreement drafting. For IP owners that currently facing invalidity claims, infringement, or to claim the invalidation, fret not, we may offer a hand to assist you in every stretch of your Intellectual Property.
This article is brought to you by Exy IP PTE. LTD.