Jay-Z sues Jonathan Mannion for exploiting his image.
Jay-Z recently filed a lawsuit against the photographer who created his iconic Reasonable Doubt album cover.
The hip hop mogul is suing Jonathan Mannion and his company, Jonathan Mannion Photography LLC, for illegal usage of his intellectual property. In legal documents, obtained by TMZ, JAY said he never gave Mannion consent to sell photos of him, some of which are sold for thousands of dollars on his website.
The father of three claims Mannion demanded tens of millions of dollars when he asked him to quit exploiting his name and image for profit. Jay believes Mannion is making an “arrogant assumption that because he took those photographs, he can do with them as he pleases.”
Hov hired Jonathan Mannion in 1996 to shoot the cover for his debut album “Reasonable Doubt.” Jay says Mannion took hundreds of pics and Roc-A-Fella Records used some of the photographs for his album covers. Despite being rewarded handsomely for those uses, Mannion continues to prominently display Jay’s image on the landing page of his website, where he sells Jay-Z pics and merch.
A rep for Mannion says he expects Jay-Z to respect Mannion and other creators that helped him achieve superstardom
“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,” the rep says per TMZ. “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.”
He 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.”
In the suit Jay-Z claims it’s “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.” He’s suing to put a stop to Mannion selling the pics, stat, and wants him to hand over any of the profits he’s made off his likeness.
Jay released Reasonable Doubt on June 25, 1996. The album debuted at no. 23 on the US Billboard 200. It featured appearances from from Memphis Bleek, Mary J. Blige, Jaz-O and The Notorious B.I.G.
Revisit the album below.