Jay-Z has filed a lawsuit against photographer Jonathan Mannion and his company, Jonathan Mannion Photography LLC, for having used his likeness in pictures and merchandise.
Mannion originally shot a young Jay-Z for the cover of his 1996 debut album, Reasonable Doubt, and is now being accused of violating the rapper’s common law privacy rights. The rapper is seeking “compensatory damages, consequential damages, lost profits, and/or disgorgement of Mannion’s profits.”
It is “ironic that a photographer would treat the image of a formerly-unknown Black teenager, now wildly successful, as a piece of property to be squeezed for every dollar it can produce,” read a statement in the lawsuit issued by Jay-Z’s team. “It stops today.”
On the other hand, Mannion’s attorney Sara Hsia maintains that “the First Amendment protects Mr. Mannion’s right to sell fine art prints of his copyrighted works, and will review the complaint and respond in due course.”
The rapper has yet to make a public statement about the lawsuit.
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