JAY-Z Sues Hip-Hop Photographer Jonathan Mannion in Likeness Dispute

JAY-Z has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the photographer who shot the artwork to his debut album, alleging that he’s been using his name and image without permission.

In legal documents seen by TMZ, the rapper claims that Jonathan Mannion – who shot the cover to 1996’s ‘Reasonable Doubt’ – has used his name and likeness to sell merchandise and other photos on his website.

According to reports, the rapper hired Jonathan Mannion in the mid-1990s and he took “Hundreds of photographs” of the rapper, including the iconic image of him in a suit and hat with a cigar that featured on the cover of his 1996 debut album ‘Reasonable Doubt’.

However, Jay has now taken legal action because, although the photographer was paid for his work, the rapper “never gave Mannion permission to resell any of the images.”

Documents obtained by Rolling Stone added: “Nor did Jay-Z authorize Mannion to use his name, likeness, identity, or persona for any purpose… Mannion has no legal right to [sell the images]”

According to the lawsuit, the ‘Run This Town’ hitmaker asked Mannion to stop selling photos of him but not only did he refuse, he also asked for payment to make him stop.

The lawsuit claimed: “Mannion has now demanded that Jay-Z pay him tens of millions of dollars to put an end to Mannion’s use of Jay-Z’s likeness.”

According to the lawsuit, the photographer “prominently displays a photograph of Jay-Z” on his website” and also sells ‘Fame Wall’ T-shirts, which “display Jay-Z’s name… above other well-known artists that Mannion has photographed.”

The lawsuit is accompanied by several photographs taken of Jay by the snapper, including the album cover shot, and states prints of the images are being sold for thousands of dollars.

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