American rapper, Jay-Z, has sued photographer Jonathan Mannion and his company, Jonathan Mannion Photography LLC for utilizing his name, image and appearance without authorization.
Mannion, the photographer behind legendary rap images such as JAY-debut Z’s album Reasonable Doubt cover art, allegedly sold prints of the rapper for thousands of dollars before demanding tens of millions of dollars when asked to stop using the photos, according to the lawsuit.
The rapper claims in the suit that “[Mannion] made the arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do whatever he wants with them.”
“It’s ironic that a photographer would treat the image of a once-unknown Black teenager who is now hugely successful as a piece of property to be squeezed for every dollar it can generate.”
JAY-Z now wants Mannion to cease selling the photographs and other merchandise with his image on it and pay him the money he’s gained from it.
Mannion’s lawyer has replied to the lawsuit by saying: “Mr. Mannion has created iconic images of Mr. Carter over the years, and is proud that these images have helped to define the artist that Jay-Z is today. Mr. Mannion has the utmost respect for Mr. Carter and his body of work, and expects that Mr. Carter would similarly respect the rights of artists and creators who have helped him achieve the heights to which he has ascended.”