Jennifer Lopez Is Being Sued Over a Picture of Alex Rodriguez — Here’s Why

Love isn’t free as Jennifer Lopez’s song, “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” says. The singer, producer, dancer, and star of Hustlers (find out what in her “blingy cup” here) is being sued over a picture of her and Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez, her fiancé. Keep reading to get all the details about why she’s being sued over a picture.

Back in 2017, J. Lo posted a picture to her Instagram Story of her and Rodriguez walking hand-in-hand down a New York City street. But according to court documents obtained by E! News filed by Splash News and Picture Agency, the 50-year-old violated copyright law.

In the documents, Splash News and Picture Agency stated that they own the photograph and therefore, have the copyright to that particular image. 

Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez | Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Basically, they’re saying J. Lo violated copyright law posting a picture that didn’t belong to her. The company’s suing her for $150,000 and an injunction to keep Lopez from sharing the photograph again.

Read the legal jargon taken from the documents below: 

“Plaintiff never licensed the Photograph to defendant. Nevertheless, Lopez used it without authorization or permission from plaintiff to do so,” the docs state. “Specifically, Lopez or someone acting on her behalf copied the Photograph and distributed it on Instagram, via the @jlo account, on a story posted November 7, 2017.”

Also in the documents, the company claimed they brought the infringement to J. Lo’s attention “through her representatives” via a Dec. 12, 2017 letter.

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Shady Sunday

A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) on

Also in the documents, the company refers to the picture as “creative, distinctive, and valuable” saying that J. Lo’s celebrity and the fact she shared the picture with her 102 million Instagram followers, damages sales for the photo. 

“The Instagram post made the [sic] Photograph immediately available to Lopez’s tens of millions followers and others, consumers of entertainment news—and especially news and images of Lopez herself, as evidenced by their status as followers of her—who would otherwise be interested in viewing licensed versions of the [sic] Photograph in the magazines and newspapers that are plaintiff’s customers.”

Simply, the company’s saying J. Lo used a picture belonging to them without their expressed permission. By doing so, Lopez made the picture available to millions of people who may otherwise have only had access to the image by getting the rights to it via the company.

Celebrities and copyright infringement over photos

Lopez isn’t the first celebrity — and she probably won’t be the last — to land in legal trouble over a photo posted on social media.

She joins the growing club of celebrities including Gigi Hadid (she recently attended a Saturday Night Live after-party after splitting from Tyler Cameron), 50 Cent, Jessica Simpson, and Khloé Kardashian, who have all found themselves in legal trouble after posting pictures of themselves on social media that didn’t belong to them.

Yes, it’s odd celebrities may be the subject of a photograph and not own the rights to it. That’s because the law favors whoever took the picture.

“The photographer owns the copyright to the photograph; it doesn’t matter who is in it,” Bryan Sullivan, an entertainment lawyer told Buzzfeed News in 2018. “The subject of the photo doesn’t have any rights to the picture as long as it was taken in a public place.”

The lesson here for celebrities is: think twice before posting a picture.

Learn how J. Lo and A-Rod spent their first Valentine’s Day together as a couple.