Copyright Lawsuit

Jawad Elatab, a paparazzi photographer, has recently sued Virgil Abloh and his overarching company Canary Yellow LLC alleging Copyright Infringement. The designer had posted a picture on his Instagram Story of model Bella Hadid – toting a customized suitcase from Abloh’s brand Off-White and Rimowa’s collaboration – without any image rights or paying to license the photo from Jawad Elatab.

In his complaint filed, Elatab has claimed that Virgil Abloh and his corporate entity Canary Yellow LLC, have engaged in the reproduction and public display of the copyrighted picture of Bella Hadid, which he had clicked in March in New York. He further stated that he is the only sole owner of the copyright, title, and interest, in and to the photograph, and the designer had purposefully, intentionally, and willfully, not obtained the rights to the picture. Although fashion lifestyle magazines and daily newspapers like Vogue and Daily Mail respectively have licensed the image from Elatab, the same isn’t the case with Abloh, which has led to the claim of copyright infringement.

In such legal cases, a defendant is required to file a reply with the court within 21 days to avoid the claim and legal proceedings. The due date for this lawsuit was 21st September 2019, on which the defendant failed to plead or otherwise defend his action. Considering the lack of action in mind, Elatab, represented by attorney Richard P. Leibowitz, is now seeking a default judgment – which, if entered by the court – would enable him to win the lawsuit and collect monetary damages, attorney’s fees, and full costs – without having to prove his allegations.