Kim Kardashian West is suing the creators of a photo editing app for $US10m in damages after the app used one of her Instagram photos without permission.
In a complaint filed to the Superior Court of California, Kardashian alleges iHandy Ltd’s ‘Sweet Cam’ app used the two-year old Instagram image for “millions of dollars worth of advertising and promotional services from [Kim Kardashian] without paying for it”.
The document adds that Kardashian “does not use, like, nor endorse” the photo editing app in question.
Kardashian is suing the company for “loss of monetary compensation” and emotional damages.
The photo at the centre of the lawsuit was posted by Kardashian on 31 October 2017. It has garnered more than 2,276,940 likes on the platform.
Sweet Cam “copied, cropped, manipulated and exploited” the image earlier this year in targeted Instagram ads.
Even after receiving an infringement notice, iHandy continued “exploiting Kardashian’s image and persona, and even threatened to go after Kardashian should she advance claims to protect her rights”, claims the complaint.
As part of its defence, iHandy claims it did not actually realise it was Kardashian in the image.
“Defendants incredulously and ridiculously feigned ignorance and assert that, of the billions upon billions of photographs on the Internet and Instagram, they didn’t know that the one photo they pilfered and featured…. is a popular photo of Kardashian that she had posted to promote her makeup beauty line, i.e, a photo of one of the most famous and recognizable women in the world,” the complaint reads.
And while $US10m for one image might seem slightly excessive, according to Kardashian, she earns between $US300,000 to $US500,000 for each Instagram ad she posts.
TMZ alleges the figure is actually closer to $US1m.