Khloe Kardashian Sued for Posting an Unlicensed Image of Herself on Instagram

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

A photo agency is suing Khloe Kardashian for unlicensed use of one of their images—a photo of Khloe Kardashian.


The U.K. photo agency Xposure Photos claims that, on September 14, 2016, Khloe and/or her team shared one of the agency’s photos on Instagram and, worse, removed copyright credit from the image. Finally, you might say, a Kardashian is being punished for vanity.

According to court documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, The Daily Mail had originally licensed the photo, which shows Khloe and her sister Kourtney headed to dinner in Miami. From the Mail, which offered suggestions on how to “Nail the nude look with Khloe’s Naked Wardrobe bodysuit”:

The long haired beauty wore open toe gold heels as she was dwarfed by her amazonian sister Khloe who was attired in jeans and a plunging vest.

The lawsuit further states that the photo is still being used without permission (though a photo of Khloe in this same outfit is still up, it was posted on the 13th, so it’s unclear if that’s the image they’re referring to, especially given that the ones in The Daily Mail are sourced to Xposure and are shot at night, while this picture was taken during the day). The agency said in a statement:

Kardashian’s Instagram post made the photograph immediately available to her nearly 67 million followers and others, consumers of entertainment news — and especially news and images of Kardashian herself, as evidenced by their status as followers of Kardashian —who would otherwise be interested in viewing licensed versions of the photograph in the magazines and newspapers that are plaintiff’s customers.

Xposure is seeking, among other requests, up to $25,000 in damages, which is not that much for a Kardashian.

Even with the option to report copyright infringement through Instagram, the company’s guidelines remain tricky for the average user and generally unregulated. Thousands of celebrities, as well as regular people, are guilty of posting photos without a photographer’s or agency’s permission on a daily basis. Obviously, suing everyone is impossible.


THR notes that tons of copyright infringement lawsuits over images have popped up this year but that “these cases often don’t last long in court.”



I generally side with photographers (and writers and freelancers in the arts who generally get screwed by clients) but street photos/paparazzi have always been confusing to me. If I didn’t give you permission to take my picture but you take it anyway, and then I find it and like it so I post it, you can sue me for lost royalties? That feels messed up.