Jay-Z dubbed 'petty' for suing 'Reasonable Doubt' photographer for using name

Jay-Z had hired Jonathan Mannion in 1996 to shoot ‘Reasonable Doubt’ album cover for which he was paid handsomely

                            Jay-Z dubbed 'petty' for suing 'Reasonable Doubt' photographer for using name
Jay-Z has sued photographer Jonathan Mannion (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)

Jay-Z’s 1996 album ‘Reasonable Doubt’ cover is probably one of the most recognized pieces of art in hip-hop. However, the rap icon is now suing the photographer who clicked the album cover for exploiting his name and image. The album cover was shot by Jonathan Mannion. The complaint reportedly states that Jay-Z never allowed him to resell the images or use his name, likeness, identity or persona in any capacity.

The documents obtained by TMZ revealed that Jay-Z is suing Mannion and his company, Jonathan Mannion Photography LLC, claiming that the photographer’s website is filled with the rapper’s merchandise and photos as he uses them to make thousands of dollars. Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Corey Carter, had hired Mannion in 1996 to shoot ‘Reasonable Doubt’ album cover for which he was paid handsomely. The hip-hop mogul was also in news recently when Mariah Carey walked out of his record label Roc Nation.

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Why is Jay-Z suing ‘Reasonable Doubt’ photographer?

According to TMZ, Jay-Z has claimed that the photographer, who has clicked him several times over the years, continues to prominently display the rapper's image on the landing page of his website when he never gave permission to him to use his pictures. The complaint also states that Mannion is making an "arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do with them as he pleases”.

The 51-year-old rapper made it clear in the complaint that he has strict control over whether and how his name, likeness, identity and persona are used. The complaint 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.” A rep for Mannion then reached out to TMZ and stated, “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.” The rep added, “We are confident that the First Amendment protects Mr Mannion's right to sell fine art prints of his copyrighted works, and will review the complaint and respond in due course.”


‘Jay Z is a punk for suing Johnathan Mannion’

Social media users were quick to jump on the news as they shared their valuable opinion on the same. One user asked, “Is it wrong for creatives to financially benefit off of artists that they work with or is there a right/wrong way to go about it? Genuinely curious, this Jay Z & Jonathan Mannion situation got me thinking.” Another posted, “Jay Z suing Jonathan Mannion over the usage of the Reasonable Doubt images is wild and an eye opener. Really gotta make sure business is handled extra properly out here.”
The next one shared, “Jay Z suing Mannion, is super petty In my opinion” whereas, another chimed in and asserted, “Definitely a grey area. As I understand it hov reached out to have him stop before jumping into legal action and Mannion denied. Considering how big Jay Z is, it seems kinda lame to bring it to courts but I see both sides.” One user added, “Yikes. Jay Z suing Jonathan Mannion is …. Interesting and could be a snowball effect,” meanwhile another claimed, “Jay Z is a punk for suing Johnathan Mannion. You have a billion fucking dollars, leave the little guy alone.” One user concluded, “Im not defending no white man or Jay Z but that Jay Z x Mannion shit seems fishy lol.”









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