According to court documents obtained by The Blast, Splash News and Picture Agency are suing the actor for copyright infringement.
The agency says photographer Janet Mayer took a “series of photos depicting defendant Hemsworth performing an outdoor scene on location for production of the film Isn’t It Romantic.”
They accuse the actor of taking their photo and posting it to his Instagram account on July 15, 2018. They say Hemsworth never obtained a license or paid them a dime.
Splash points out Hemsworth has over 13.5 million followers. They add, “When posting a copy of the Photograph on Instagram on July 15, 2018, Hemsworth or someone acting on his behalf “tagged” the Instagram account of the film Isn’t It Romantic, @isntitromanticmovie.”
Further, “Hemsworth or someone acting on his behalf again posted the Photograph to Hemsworth’s Instagram Story twice on June 20, 2019. That same day, there was a swipe-up feature on his Instagram story to encourage people to vote for the movie Isn’t It Romantic for the Teen Choice Movie Awards.”
Splash accuses Hemsworth of altering their photos to remove the copyright before posting to his accounts.
The suit explains, “Defendant’s theft of plaintiff’s work illustrates the process whereby commercial piracy of content not only deprives the owner of license fees but also destroys the syndication value of the work. Legitimate publications to which Splash looks to pay syndication fees are unwilling to pay for work that is already widely disseminated on the internet for free by pirate sites and well-known celebrities.”
“Hemsworth’s Instagram post and Instagram stories made the Photograph immediately available to his over 13 million followers and others, consumers of entertainment news—and especially news and images of Hemsworth himself, as evidenced by their status as followers of him—who would otherwise be interested in viewing licensed versions of the Photograph in the magazines and newspapers that are plaintiff’s customers.”
Splash is demanding an injunction against Hemsworth from ripping off their work and $150,000 per infringement. The news comes months after his split with Miley.
Hemsworth is the latest celebrity to be hit with an Instagram-related lawsuit. Sarah Jessica Parker was recently hit with a similar lawsuit.