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Miley Cyrus Sued for Copyright Infringement Over Instagram Post

Sept. 12, 2022, 5:28 PM

Pop star Miley Cyrus is facing a copyright infringement suit over an Instagram post of a picture of herself that she doesn’t have the rights to use.

Photographer Robert Barbera, who took the image, sued Cyrus on Friday in a California federal court over her use of the picture—which she posted on Instagram in February 2021—without his permission.

Cyrus received a financial benefit from her infringing post, which increased traffic to her account and increased revenue generated by the sale of her music, Barbera’s complaint alleges.

The entertainer’s “impermissible use has crippled if not destroyed the potentiality of any market for the Photograph,” he claims.

The suit against Cyrus is one of several paparazzi suits against stars over the use of their copyrighted photos. Popular celebrities such as singers Dua Lipa and Jennifer Hudson and model Emily Ratajkowski have all recently faced similar copyright infringement suits. Barbera has previously sued Lipa as well as Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, alleging copyright infringement.

He is seeking a jury trial as well as actual and statutory damages.

Cause of Action: Copyright infringement.

Relief: Jury trial, actual damages, statutory damages, disgorgement of all profits, injunction, attorneys fees and additional costs.

Attorneys: Barbera is represented by Sanders Law Group.

Response: A representative for Cyrus did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The case is Barbera v. Cyrus, C.D. Cal., No. 2:22-cv-06449, 9/9/22.

To contact the reporter on this story: Riddhi Setty in Washington at rsetty@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tonia Moore at tmoore@bloombergindustry.com; Jay-Anne B. Casuga at jcasuga@bloomberglaw.com