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Ownership rights over a “selfie” takes two friends to court

04, Jul 2014 By Sushrut Abhyankar

New Delhi. Two friends might soon be embroiled in an ugly court battle over allegations of intellectual property theft. The intellectual property in question is a “selfie” of the two at a party.

Pooja B has taken the extreme step of suing her former friend Aditi  M for allegedly stealing a selfie clicked by Pooja and uploading it as her (Aditi’s) Facebook profile picture.

Selfie Friends
A possible threat to their friendship?

As mentioned earlier, the incident took place during a party held by one of their friends where the two were sitting around with nothing to do. Before either of them could regret their life decisions, Pooja suggested that they took a selfie together.

When Aditi agreed, Pooja whipped out her Somesung Fallacy S4 phone and promptly clicked a selfie. The said selfie was so good that both the friends recognized its value immediately.

Aditi, a believer in the ‘Life for Likes’ school of thought, slyly borrowed Pooja’s phone and uploaded it as her profile picture before Pooja could even WhatsApp it. Pooja, the victim, found out about this breach of trust only after both had left the party.

Extremely upset over being denied the credit and first right of refusal over the selfie, she decided to file a lawsuit.

“Since, it was clicked by her and was stored in her phone; she has every right to sue her friend. You can see that my client is looking superb in the pic. The stakes for my client are very high as the picture does not show any pimples, not to mention she has a very cute pout.  She was looking at nearly 150 likes until it was stolen from her,” Pooja’s lawyer explained the extent of damages due to this property and IPR theft.

Pooja herself was quoted saying, “I was excited about the picture. I was looking forward to comments like ‘nyc pic J’ and ‘hawwt’ from people I barely know. Now, even if I get the picture back, I will never feel the same about it.”

There was no official comment from Aditi but word on the street is that they have proposed an out-of-court settlement and end the matter once and for all. Rumor has it there could even be a make-up selfie on the cards. Whatever may be the outcome, it cannot be denied that this incident has left a permanent fracture on their friendship.