Dua Lipa Sued Over Posting Photo of Herself on Instagram

By Jennifer E. Rothman
July 14, 2021

Dua Lipa has been sued by Integral Images, Inc. in district court in California for posting a photo of herself on her Instagram feed.  This is yet another in a string of copyright lawsuits arising out of celebrities (like Khloe Kardashian & Tom Brady) posting images of themselves on social media when they are not the copyright holders of the images. These lawsuits are particularly gauling as those taking the pictures are often paparazzi who are chasing and often harassing these indviduals, taking pictures without permission, and then selling the images for profit solely on the basis of the celebrity's own value. 

Dua Lipa posted the allegedly infringing photo (see below) with the comment that "I'll be living under big fluffy hats until further notice."

Dua Lipa floppy hat instagram right of publicity copyright lawsuit integral images


I have long contended that indivduals should be able to share and comment on pictures of themselves and this is yet another example of why this should be so.  Dua Lipa should have a First Amendment, free speech, and liberty-based right to share this image of herself on social media. (For more on this topic take a look at my article, Liberating Copyrightand my discussion of Brooke Shields and her failed effort to get back control of images of her that were taken without her permission when she was a child and naked in my book on the right of publicity and my article The Inalienable Right of Publicity.  Another must read on this issue is Emily Ratajkowski's essay Buying Myself Back). 

I hope any response from Dua Lipa's lawyers includes a counterclaim for a right of publicity violation, a First Amendment defense, as well as a challenge to authorship given the unauthorized status of the photograph.  These cases continue to be ones to watch.  

Complaint, Integral Images, Inc. v. Dua Lipa (C.D. Cal. Filed July 6, 2021)