Popular singer Ariana Grande is no stranger to legal run-ins with photographers, and the latest involves her using an image without permission to promote her clothing line, leading to another lawsuit.
The lawsuit, filed by paparazzi photographer Robert Barbera, is actually not the first between the two. Barbera filed an earlier lawsuit after Grande posted two photos of herself to her Instagram without his permission, eventually leading to an out-of-court settlement. The new lawsuit, filed in a New York federal court, alleges that Grande posted the photos "willfully, intentionally, and purposefully, in disregard of and indifference to [Barbera's] rights."
What likely makes the lawsuit much stronger for Barbera is that the photos were used for direct promotion by Grande. Grande posted the image in question on her Instagram story in 2018, in which she is shown wearing a "Sweetener" sweatshirt, with a caption that read: "My Merch Is So Cute and Comfy, Swipe Up To Get Da Look." Swiping up led to a link to purchase the aforementioned sweatshirt.
Barbera is no stranger to such lawsuits, having filed against Justin Bieber, Versace, CBS, and more in the past. He specifically references his history with Grande in the suit as further evidence of her disregard for his rights and is asking for a monetary judgment of "actual damages and Grande’s profits, gains or advantages of any kind attributable to [her] infringement of his photo," along with punitive damages and his own costs for pursuing the suit.
Lead image by Wikipedia user Emma, used under Creative Commons.