Jay-Z Sues Photographer Over Sales Of His Likeness

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Hip hop mogul Jay-Z is going after a photographer for allegedly profiting from his likeness without permission.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has filed a lawsuit against photographer Jonathan Mannion, whose photos of the rapper were used on several Jay-Z albums, including Reasonable Doubt, The Black Album, The Blueprint and Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life.

According to the lawsuit, Mannion was already compensated for the “hundreds of photographs” he took of Carter and was never given the right to resell the images. “Nor did Jay-Z authorize Mannion to use his name, likeness, identity, or persona for any purpose,” it alleges.

In the filing, Carter claims Mannion demanded tens of millions of dollars to stop selling photos of Jay-Z.

Mannion, the lawsuit states, is making the “arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do with them as he pleases.”

Carter’s lawsuit alleges violations of California Civil Code for “misappropriating and using for commercial purposes Jay-Z’s name, likeness, identity, and persona” and California law regarding rights of publicity.

He is seeking an injunction against Mannion as well as unspecified damages.

Mannion, who has also shot album covers for acts like DJ Khaled and Canada’s Sum 41, said through a representative that the First Amendment protects his right to sell “fine art prints of his copyrighted works.”

The statement added that 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.”

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