Lisa Rinna is being sued for her Instagram activity. No, it’s not because of the dancing videos, although there might be grounds for a class-action lawsuit if enough of us come forward about the pain that they cause. Someone figure that out.
This lawsuit actually revolves around copyright infringement and paparazzi photos, and unfortunately for Rinna, $1.2 million is on the line.
This mess all started back in June when Backgrid, a celebrity photo agency, filed a copyright infringement lawsuit based on eight watermarked paparazzi pictures Rinna posted on Instagram. Court documents published by the LA Times claim that Rinna “violated federal law by willfully infringing Backgrid’s copyrights to at least eight photographs.”
The controversial pictures were run-of-the-mill paparazzi snapshots of Rinna and her daughters, Amelia and Delilah Hamlin. Backgrid claims that she hurt their chances of selling the photos by sharing them on her Instagram feed. After all, she does have 3 million followers. Therefore, they’re suing her for a whopping $1.2 million in damages. Yikes!
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star says she’s shocked by the lawsuit because she’s always had a warm and fuzzy relationship with the paparazzi throughout her multi-decade career. “I’ve been nice, I’ve never fought with them, I’ve never run from them,” she told the LA Times. “My kids grew up with them jumping out of the bushes in Malibu.”
Rinna isn’t taking this lying down. According to court documents, Rinna filed a legal response pushing back against Backgrid for a few reasons. First, she feels that it’s unfair for the agency to benefit from her image, yet she can’t use their images for her own personal use.
She also believes that the photo agency is out for cash because the pandemic has kept (some) celebrities in their homes, and when they do venture out, their faces are obscured by masks.
The lawsuit points out that out of 50 similar copyright infringement lawsuits filed by Backgrid, about two-thirds of them were filed during the pandemic. Plus, she thinks the $1.2 million is a bit excessive for the photos in question. She’d have to sell a whole lot of lipstick and dusters to pay that off.
Rinna told the outlet, “I understand paying a little bit. But to pay this much, it’s very hard for me to say that’s okay. There’s something that’s not right about this. Those photos are worth much less — I mean, it’s my kids with masks on.”
With this lawsuit in the air, Rinna will probably think twice before posting another paparazzi photo to her Instagram feed. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this case to see how it plays out. When there’s an update, you better believe we’re going to talk about it.