Jay-Z is suing a celebrity photographer in Los Angeles, alleging the cameraman is selling copies of photographs of the rapper/mogul online without permission, according to court papers obtained Wednesday.
Jay-Z — whose legal name is Shawn Carter — alleges that Jonathan Mannion is misusing the rapper’s image “on the arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do with them as he pleases,” the complaint states. “But Jay-Z never gave Mannion the right to use his likeness for these or any other purposes.”
Mannion’s attorney, Sarah Hsia, said she is confident her client has not violated any of Jay-Z’s rights.
“Mr. Mannion has created iconic images of Mr. Carter over the years, and is proud that these images have helped to define the artist that Jay-Z is today,” the attorney said in a statement. “Mr. Mannion has the utmost respect for Mr. Carter and his body of work, and expects that Mr. Carter would similarly respect the rights of artists and creators who have helped him achieve the heights to which he has ascended.”
Hsia said she will respond to the suit “in due course.”
The complaint, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles federal court, contends that Mannion — who shot the cover of Jay-Z’s 1996 debut album, “Reasonable Doubt,” among other photos of the rapper — is illegally profiting from the rapper’s likeness on photo prints, shirts and turntable mats, and is licensing his image to others without permission.
The suit seeks damages from the photographer for allegedly violating Jay-Z’s publicity rights.
The multiple Grammy Award-winning rapper is married to Beyoncé.
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