We have all been cranky over not getting “photo credit” once or twice before. Your friends all take a photo together, and you want people to know you were there. But Catherine McGann sued Bruno Mars’ for not crediting her on his baby picture Instagram post that she had taken years prior.
This past June, the singer turned 31 and posted the “Way Back Wednesday” to his Instagram account. When Catherine McGann spotted the photo, she filed to sue Mars. The backlash was tremendous. Most could not fathom how posting a photo of yourself could result in a legal problem.
Photo Credit: something we should all look out for
When professional photographers take photos, they own that photo. To post it anywhere, you must pay, or at least get permission, from the photographer. So although many people thought that McGann was overreacting, her case may hold up in court.
According to the Copyright Law of the United States, a photographer owns an image, not the person who is photographed. But Instagram cannot possibly monitor every single post that is posted everyday to make sure that no one violates this law.
But that does not make it legal to post photos that do not belong to you. According to their terms of service, Instagram states that, “You must not, in the use of Instagram, violate any laws in your jurisdiction (including but not limited to copyright laws).”
Still, many people do not follow these rules because people do not realize that there are laws about what you can and cannot post on your own private forums.
Catherine McGann had posted the (adorable) photo on her Instagram in the past. Bruno Mars may have reposted it from her Instagram profile. The problem is that he cut off the “Copyright Catherine McGann” print that was on the top of the photo.
The terms of the settlement between McGann and Mars will depend on many factors. If McGann registered the photo prior to Bruno posting it, she may have a valid claim. If not, it will be a harder case for her to win. Mars’s label, Warner Music, has also been named in the case.
Want to see some photos that were credited correctly? Check out this article!