As the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member attempts to convince the court that she is not guilty of copyright infringement, and that Backgrid is “taking advantage” of the Copyright Act, the mother of two is speaking out about her relationship with the paparazzi.
“I’ve always seen it as a very symbiotic relationship,” she told the Los Angeles Times in an interview on October 5. “It was part of the game, if you’re going to be in this business. I’ve been nice, I’ve never fought with them, I’ve never run from them. My kids grew up with them jumping out of the bushes in Malibu. We’ve had a very good relationship with the press and the paparazzi. That’s why this is so shocking to me.”
Backgrid filed their lawsuit against Lisa in June after she allegedly shared eight paparazzi photos of herself and her adult children, daughters Delilah Hamlin, 23, and Amelia Hamlin, 23, on Instagram.
“It is only because of Ms. Rinna’s hard work, dedication to her craft, and resultant success that her image confers monetary benefits on the Plaintiff,” the documents stated. “Having taken and used Defendant’s images in this fashion, Defendant is informed and believes and thereupon alleges, that an implied license was created between herself and the Plaintiff (and subject photographers), whereby it was understood that Ms. Rinna would be permitted to use and comment on these photographs of her and her family without facing a claim of ‘infringement.'”
According to the report, many cases like the one Backgrid filed against Lisa never make it to court. Instead, after agencies send a letter requesting a nominal fee from those believed to be in violation of a copyright, they typically make an out-of-court settlement.
As for why Lisa didn’t opt to take that route, she told The Time she would have done so if the amount of money Backgrid requested wasn’t so steep.
“I understand paying a little bit,” she said. “But to pay this much, it’s very hard for me to say that’s OK. There’s something that’s not right about this. Those photos are worth much less — I mean, it’s my kids with masks on.”
Lisa went on to say she was working under a “fair use” right when she shared the images. However, according to Jo Ardalan, who works for the firm representing Backgrid, what Lisa did wasn’t allowed.
“It’s a problem when celebrities post photos on social media when they do not have permission,” she shared. “Once a photograph is posted, People magazine or Us Weekly will be less likely to buy it, because all their fans will have already seen it.”
“Celebrities use their social media accounts to promote themselves as a brand,” she added. “They also frequently get paid for endorsing products on social media. That is a very commercial use.”
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