Popsugar sued for using influencer imagery

Popsugar has been sued by LA-based influencer Nita Batra who claims the fashion and lifestyle site has used her proprietary images as part of a "massive infringement" scheme. Batra has sued for over $5 million.


The images in question were originally linked to LikeItKnowIt, a platform that pays influencers royalties when their followers make a purchase through their images - Photo: LikeToKnowIt


In her complaint, filed this week in California federal court, Batra alleges Popsugar "decided to capitalize on the influencers’ social media following by copying and posting thousands of influencers’ Instagram images [and their bio info] on its own website without authorization.”

Batra, who goes by Nita Mann on Instagram, has 215,000 followers. She is a former law student turned influencer who claims she first discovered that Popsugar took her images in April.

The images in question were originally linked to LikeItKnowIt, a platform that pays influencers royalties when their followers make a purchase through their images.

Batra alleges Popsugar removed the existing links and replaced them with its own affiliate links to ShopStyle, a competing platform that Popsugar owned at the time. The complaint alleges that Popsugar "diverted commissions from the sales of products featured in the [influencers’] images to itself […] in order to monetize the content for its own benefit.”

According to Batra's complaint, when confronted Popsugar's CEO and co-founder Brian Sugar tweeted that the influencer images had been "intended for internal use only" and that their wider publication was an accident. 

Batra is hoping to have her case turned into a class action as she claims Popsugar's actions involved thousands of images belonging to many different influencers. She is seeking money for violations of legislation including California's right to publicity, as well as interference with the contract she and other influencers have with LikeToKnowIt.

Popsugar has not yet officially responded to the lawsuit.

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