Lisa Rinna from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is shocked by the recent lawsuit filed against her for posting paparazzi photos of herself and her daughters on her Instagram account. Back in June, the photo agency, Backgrid, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the reality star for posting eight of their photos on her Instagram page. Backgrid claims this damaged their chance of selling the photos because Lisa’s millions of Instagram followers had already seen them. Backgrid is asking that Lisa pay the company $1.2 million.
By law, the photographer or the agency owns the rights to the image. Though photographing someone without their consent is illegal, there are exceptions. One of the exceptions states a photo may be taken for editorial use in a public place. Therefore, any image taken of a celebrity without their consent is not only legal but said celebrity doesn’t own the rights to the photo either.
Now, Lisa Rinna is speaking out about Backgrid’s lawsuit, which she calls “shocking.” People reports, “Rinna has filed her own legal response to Backgrid’s complaint, arguing that the agency is ‘taking advantage’ of the Copyright Act.” The document states that Lisa believes it is unjust for the company to “benefit from the exploitation of Ms. Rinna’s images, while she allegedly remains unable to use these photographs for her own, personal purposes.” Lisa also told the LA Times the lawsuit is so shocking to her because she has always had a good relationship with the press and the paparazzi. She believes the price the company is asking for is too much money, explaining that pictures of her and her daughters with masks on aren’t worth that much.
Lisa Rinna is not the first celebrity to be involved in this type of lawsuit. Other celebrities like Dua Lipa, Justin Bieber, and Emily Ratajkowski have been hit with similar lawsuits. In September 2020, Emily Ratajkowski published an essay with The Cut titled, “Buying Myself Back.” In the essay, she discussed a lawsuit filed against her for posting a paparazzi photo of herself on her Instagram story. This has opened up public discussions on who should own the rights to pictures taken without the subject’s consent.
It’s a tricky situation, as both parties have strong arguments. On one hand, photography is considered an art, and it makes sense for photographers or the agencies they are signed with to own the rights to their work. This has been a hot topic in the last few years as artists like Taylor Swift fight for their rights to own their art. It’s also unfair when someone’s work is devalued because a celeb with a large following posts it online for the world to see for free. However, when the subject of the photo did not give consent and did not receive any compensation from the image, it’s equally unfair from their perspective. It seems in situations like these; there isn’t a right answer. Hopefully, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star can settle the lawsuit most fairly and beneficially for both parties.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.