Jessica Simpson may have ended her turn on reality television years ago, but she’s still keeping up with the Kardashians — at least as far as lawsuits go. Simpson is being sued by a paparazzo over a photo of herself posted on Instagram and Twitter, which follows a similar suit against Khloe that was filed last year.
Splash News and Picture Agency, a Nevada-based celebrity news company, is suing Simpson and Reality TV World for copyright infringement over a series of photos of Simpson leaving the Bowery Hotel in New York.
Splash granted The Daily Mail a limited license to publish the photo online in August, but never gave such permission to Simpson, according to the complaint filed Tuesday in California federal court.
“Simpson or someone acting on her behalf copied the Photograph and distributed it on Instagram — within hours of its original publication on August 9, 2017,” writes attorney Peter Perkowski. “The copy of the Photograph that Simpson distributed on Instagram had been altered, without authorization or approval, to remove the CMI showing plaintiff as the copyright owner of the image.”
Reality TV World picked it up from the star’s Instagram post and distributed it online.
Splash argues the photo could have brought in more licensing revenue because of Simpson’s fame, but her social media sharing harmed the market.
“Simpson’s Instagram post and Twitter tweet made the Photograph immediately available to her nearly 11.5 million followers and others, consumers of entertainment news — and especially news and images of Simpson herself, as evidenced by their status as followers of her — who would otherwise be interested in viewing licensed versions of the Photograph in the magazines and newspapers that are plaintiff’s customers,” writes Perkowski.
Simpson has not yet commented on the complaint.