JAY-Z has taken legal action against a photographer who he claims is exploiting his name and image without his consent. As TMZ reported, Hov filed a lawsuit against Jonathan Mannion and his company, Jonathan Mannion Photography LLC, over the unauthorized sale of his photos.
Mannion captured JAY for his 1996 debut album, Reasonable Doubt. Per the suit, he was compensated “handsomely” for the gig but has managed to make millions more by selling JAY-Z merch, photograph prints of Hov — which are plastered all over his website — and licenses to others to use JAY’s image in the years following the photoshoot.
Hov reportedly reached out in attempts to stop further sales, but the photographer allegedly asked for an unreasonable amount of money.
JAY believes that Mannion is under the “arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do with them as he pleases.” However, the Brooklyn mogul — who maintains strict control over the way in which his name, likeness, identity and persona are used — is not letting up without a fight. According to the lawsuit, Hov wants to halt the sales of his Reasonable Doubt photos and all other items using his name and image, and is requesting that Mannion “hand over all profits made in his likeness.” He is also hoping to get a “preliminary and permanent injunction” that will prevent the photographer from using his image in the future.
“It is no secret that JAY-Z has achieved iconic success, not just as a rap artist and record-company mogul but in numerous other pursuits and as a businessman,” the suit reads. “It is ironic that a photographer would treat the image of a formerly-unknown Black teenager, now wildly successful, as a piece of property to be squeezed for every dollar it can produce. It stops today.”