The paparazzi suing Nicki Minaj for using their photos claim it’s nearly impossible to serve the rapper with legal documents.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, a photo agency is pleading with the court for help moving their case forward.
Last year, Splash News and Picture Agency sued Minaj accusing her of using their photos without permission on her social media. They claimed she was making money off their copyrighted work.
Splash asked the court to allow them to serve Minaj the legal papers via her Instagram, which is an interesting proposal. They have struggled to serve the rapper for nearly a year. Recently, the agency said they tracked down a lawyer for Minaj and want to be allowed to serve them.
Right before the pandemic, the agency requested approval to serve Minaj via an alternative method. They claim to have hired multiple process servers, paid money to try and find a home address and spent hours being blocked by her bodyguards. Splash, “believes that it will be impossible to serve defendant directly because (a) in public she is accompanied by a team of bodyguards, (b) a current resident address in Los Angeles is difficult to confirm, and (c) the resident addresses in Los Angeles that are associated with her are gated communities and therefore inaccessible.
A judge has yet to rule.
As The Blast first reported, back in July 2019, Minaj was sued by Splash News and Picture Agency for copyright infringement.
The agency says their photographers took shots of Minaj that she then used without permission or paying a dime. Splash says they own the copyright to photos taken of Minaj at multiple public events.
The photos were taken outside of the Harper’s Bazaar Party in New York City in November 2017, photos of her wearing a plaid Burberry outfit taken in August 2018, another outside New York Fashion Week in September 2018 and several more. Splash says Minaj used the photos they took and posted them on her Instagram.
Splash says the issue is after Minaj posts them the market value of the photos goes to zero. The suit says her Instagram account has nearly 100 million followers. Despite numerous legal letters, Splash says Minaj refuses to comply with their cease and desist.
The agency says they have lost out on a ton of money because of Minaj’s Instagram posts.
The suit said, “In addition, defendant’s unauthorized use is expressly commercial in nature. Minaj uses her Instagram feed for the purpose of promotion—specifically, to promote her business interests, products, and ventures; to promote and sell the products and services of others; to maintain and increase her visibility and desirability as an endorser, actress, model, and entertainment personality; and to promote her persona and celebrity status. In short, every one of Minaj’s Instagram posts is fundamentally promoting something to her 91 million followers.”
Splash is suing for $150,000 per infringement plus accounting for all profits Minaj made off their work.
As The Blast previously reported, Minaj sparked divorce rumors after removing her husband’s name from her handle. Sources close to Minaj told The Blast the singer is still with Kenneth Petty and only changed the name for work.