Can You Get Sued for Posting a Picture of Yourself on Instagram?

In the last three months, celebrities Amy Schumer, Gigi Hadid and Kim Kardashian have all been sued for posting photos of themselves to their Instagram accounts. In each case, the photographer behind the photos in question has alleged that they are the owner and copyright holder of the media, and that the subjects of the photos have no right to post them. Richard Liebowitz, attorney for Plaintiffs in all cases, has filed Complaints stating that “One can not use photographs without the photographer’s permission, even for social media

In the lawsuit against Schumer, Liebowitz notes that the photographs in question were copyrighted, though he does not note that date of the copyright. A search of the United States Copyright Office records shows that the photographs were copyrighted on February 8, 2020, three months after Schumer allegedly infringed on the copyright by posting the photos.

Paparazzi are filing Copyright lawsuits against celebrities who post photos of themselves on Instagram.

The complaint against Schumer further states that Plaintiff is “the sole owner of all right, title, and interest” in the photographs. However, if the photo was previously shared on a social media platform by the Copyright owner, this may not be the case. For example, Instagram’s terms of agreement read as follows: “[W]hen you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Service, you hereby grant to us a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivate works of your

As such, any Plaintiff who has posted the media at issue on Instagram is only a non-exclusive licensee of the work. Courts have been receptive to this instagram copyright case defense, however, the issue has not been litigated since most Copyright defendants opt to settle promptly. In the meantime, cases against celebrities who post photos of themselves on Instagram continue to be filed.


Tauler Smith LLP sues Chase Bank & SBA for PPP Loan Fraud

Lawsuit Seeks Order that Chase Bank be Enjoined from Participating in PPP loan Program and give $700 million dollars back to the Treasury.

According to the lawsuit, by the time Chase Bank’s online portal opened to small businesses, Chase Bank had already personally solicited and submitted all of the loans for its rich clients, who could ask for bigger loans that would be more profitable to Chase Bank. The average PPP loan Chase Bank funded was over $500,000. According to the lawsuit, Chase made over $700 million in less than two weeks, with no risk and no need to verify the statements of their rich clients.

A copy of the lawsuit can be found here:

Payment Protection Program (PPP) Lawsuit

Tauler Smith LLP is representing small businesses that did not obtain funding through the Payment Protection Program (PPP).  The PPP was intended to benefit small businesses impacted by COVID-19, and provided for loans to small businesses on favorable terms, and was administered by the government and banking institutions under the CARES Act.  On April 16, 2020, the government announced that the program ran out of funding.

If you are a small business owner that applied for PPP funding through a lender, and have been denied funding, you may have standing to file a lawsuit to obtain the funding that was promised. 

If you are interested in potentially being a plaintiff, fill out the questionnaire below and a member of our team will contact you.  The information you provide below is confidential and will not be shared with anyone outside Tauler Smith LLP without your prior consent.