While many people appreciate good art, unfortunately, not everyone recognizes that the time and energy that goes into creating these works of art should be compensated. This can lead to the unlawful use of said artwork, or the creation and use of other pieces that are virtually copies, without a licensing agreement. If you find yourself in this situation you may have legal options. One makeup artist recently took action against Kylie Jenner because of photos the founder of Kylie’s Cosmetics, used to advertise her makeup line on Instagram.
According to the makeup artist-who is specifically known for liquid lip art-Jenner twice posted images used to advertise her makeup line, on Instagram, that were copies of works she had previously created.
The makeup artist used Instagram to respond, pointing out the alleged infringement and threatening to file a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Ultimately, Jenner responded by posting attributing the original images to the makeup artist in new Instagram posts. It is unclear whether the makeup artist received any compensation for the use of the images. No lawsuit was ever filed.
How A Federally Registered Copyright Might Have Changed The Outcome
While being recognized on social media by someone who has as many followers as Jenner does, provides great publicity, the fact that the makeup artist in this situation had not secured a federally registered copyright on those works may have influenced her decision to not file a lawsuit. Though it is possible to recover profits and actual damages for copyright infringement when works have not been registered, it is generally not an easy task. Under the Copyright Act, when an artist has registered infringed works, statutory damages may be available. Those statutory damages could reach as high as $150,000 per work.