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Miley Cyrus the latest artist to be sued over sharing pap photo on social media

By | Published on Monday 12 September 2022

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus is the latest musician to be hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit by photographer Robert Barbera over photos she posted to Instagram. He has previously sued Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Dua Lipa (twice), all of whom settled out of court.

In this new lawsuit, Barbera says that he took a photo of Cyrus waving as she left a building in February 2020. Shortly afterwards, the photo appeared on Cyrus’s Instagram profile without his permission.

“The photograph was copied, stored and displayed without licence or permission, thereby infringing on plaintiff’s copyrights”, says the legal filing, according to Law360. “The infringement includes a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) for a fixed tangible medium of expression that was sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be communicated for a period of more than a transitory duration and therefore constitutes a specific infringement”. So now you know.

Although by no means the only photographer to pursue this kind of litigation, Barbera has nonetheless made it something of a sideline to his work as a paparazzo. He launched his first lawsuit of this kind against Justin Bieber in 2019, represented by attorney Richard Liebowitz – who at the time had been recently described by a judge as a “known copyright troll” and ordered to attend a training course on “ethics and professionalism”.

More recently, Barbera has been represented by Craig B Saunders, who also specialises in copyright and trademark infringements but – as far as we can tell – has never been accused of being a troll by a judge. Although that doesn’t mean he’s never been called that by anyone at all (he has).

It remains to be seen how Cyrus responds, and if she will also fork out a settlement rather than challenging the claim in court.