In today’s edition of The Modern World Is Dumb, Ariana Grande is being sued by a paparazzi photographer for posting photos of herself on Instagram and Twitter.
Robert Barbera filed a lawsuit against the singer after she shared two of his images online to mark the release of her album Sweetener last August. The photos show Grande in an oversized sweater carrying a see-through bag emblazoned with the word ‘Sweetener’, and were snapped from afar – AKA without her consent.
Now, Barbera is suing Grande for $25,000 (£19,600) per picture or all the profits she earned from the photos, which could amount to a large portion of Sweetener’s first-day sales. The lawsuit states: “(Grande) infringed (Barbera’s) copyright in the photographs by reproducing and publicly displaying the photographs on the Instagram page… (Grande) is not, and has never been, licensed or otherwise authorised to reproduce, publicly display, distribute and/or use the photographs.”
Photographers should of course be credited for their work, but it’s hard to feel sympathy for paparazzos who capture celebrities without permission, sell ‘embarrassing’ photos for huge sums of money, and generally contribute to the policing of women’s bodies in tabloid press.
This isn’t Grande’s first run-in with photographers, as back in March she caused outrage among media organisations over her Sweetener World Tour photo policy. The singer is making photographers hand over all rights to their photos to her tour company, and will only let them take still shots from a designated area during the first three songs.
TBC how Grande will respond to the lawsuit, but for now she’s getting some space from the situation by, err, actually going to space.