Katy Perry has been hit with a $150,000 copyright infringement lawsuit for sharing a photo of herself in costume as U.S politician Hillary Clinton online. Bosses at image agency Backgrid sued the Roar singer on Tuesday over a three-year-old Instagram post she published in 2016 showing her in costume as the former American Secretary of State.
Backgrid lawyers assert she shared the picture with her 86 million followers without licensing the photo first, causing "substantial economic damage" to the company.
“The Photograph is creative, distinctive, and valuable,” the legal filing reads. “Because of the subject’s celebrity status, and the Photograph’s quality and visual appeal, BackGrid (and the photographer it represents) stood to gain additional revenue from licensing the Photograph.”
The lawsuit was filed after several failed attempts to contact Katy's representatives to secure the licensing fee between July 2017 and October 2019, according to Backgrid reps.
“Backgrid is an entertainment news agency that works closely with celebrities. As such, it is never Backgrid’s objective to litigate against celebrities,” company attorney Joanna Ardalan of One LLP told Billboard in a statement.
“Unfortunately, in the case of Ms. Perry, Backgrid reached out to her representatives in good faith and on a number of occasions to resolve this copyright infringement matter. In spite of Backgrid’s efforts, the photo at issue in the litigation has not been taken down. It remains live to this very day.”
Katy has yet to respond to the copyright infringement case.