As we first reported, the paparazzi company filed a federal lawsuit against Rinna earlier this year. They accused the soap actress/reality star of using images they took of her on her social media without permission.
The suit explained the agency has taken many photos of Rinna over the years which they own the copyright. In court documents, the agency said Rinna runs her Instagram account which has over 2.7 million followers who check regularly for updates on her life.
The agency says Rinna used at least eight of their photographs without paying a dime. The suit says the Bravo star even encourages her fans to share the copyrighted work. Further, they point out Rinna uses her account to hawk her beauty product, the reality show, and her daughters’ modeling careers.
They told the court, “each posted photograph elicits thousands, and frequently, hundreds of thousands of comments from fans. Moreover, the account is not private, so anyone, including those who do not “follow” her account, has access and can view the uploaded photographs, including the photographs at issue in this lawsuit.”
“Rinna has driven significant traffic to her Instagram account in large part due to the presence of the sought after and searched- for Rinna Photographs that frame this dispute. All of this traffic translates into substantial ill-gotten commercial advantage and brand awareness as a direct consequence of their infringing actions,” they argue.
In February 2021, the agency fired off a legal letter to Rinna but they were unable to resolve the issues. They are suing for $1.2 million in damages.
In recently filed documents, Rinna denies all allegations of wrongdoing. She says the agency is “wrongfully “setting up” celebrities to augment its income during the COVID pandemic, by taking photographs and racing out to have the photos copyrighted".
Rinna says the claims for damages by the Plaintiff are precluded by its own fraudulent conduct. She is demanding the entire lawsuit be thrown out of court.