Gigi Hadid has potentially run in to some trouble on her Instagram thanks to murky rules about image copyrights and social media. The model posted a paparazzi lensed photo of herself she found online to her personal account, but now the photographer is threatening legal action. Last night Hadid took to Instagram to shed light on the situation, as well as her frustrations with it.
“Yesterday I heard from my management that I am being “legally pursued” for my last (now deleted) Instagram post. The photo is by a Paparazzi & is of me on the street outside an event last week. I posed/smiled for the photo because I understand that this is part of my job, this was an appropriate situation for “the press” to attend, and also that this is how paparazzi make a living,” she wrote. After detailing how her normal interactions with paparazzi can be invasive, she further explained why this particular situation is particularly exasperating.
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“For someone to take a situation where i was trying to be open, and sue me for a photo I FOUND ON TWITTER (with no photographers name on the image), for a photo he has already been paid for by whatever outlet put it online (!!!), is absurd,” she said. “I had no way of knowing which of the 15+ photographers outside that day took these exact photos; if the person had just commented on my photo I would have been happy to tag and give credit.”
Fans on Instagram seem confused as to why she wouldn’t be able to post a photo of herself. But when it comes to image copyrights the issue is actually quite complicated. The Fashion Law explains that image copyrights belong to the photographer, or whomever they have sold it to, who then “has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, license, and to prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work for his entire life and for 70 years after his/her death.”
Photographers make money off selling photos — the more exclusive the better. When they are passed around the internet their value goes down. However Hadid is arguably the reason the photos have value in the first place. What is clear is that copyright laws need an update in the age of social media.
Bella Hadid, Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Gisele, and Coco Rocha are a few of the big names who left comments on Hadid’s Instagram page to support her.