The Hollywood Celebrity Photo Agency is suing KPWR for copyright infringement.

Meruelo Media Rhythm CHR “Power 106” KPWR Los Angeles has been slapped with a copyright infringement lawsuit for allegedly posting copyrighted photos of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Drake and other celebrities on his social media accounts without permission.

Backgrid USA, based in Redondo Beach, Calif., claims to own and operate “one of Hollywood’s largest celebrity photography agencies” and has licensed photos to TMZ, Entertainment Tonight, People and other media clients.

Filed Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the lawsuit claims KPWR “reproduced, distributed, displayed, and created unauthorized derivative works” of Backgrid photos of Cardi B, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Saweetie, Drake and Dr. Dre on the station’s social media accounts without first obtaining permission or a license to do so. In total, Backgrid says the station infringed its copyrights on at least nine celebrity photos in violation of federal law.

The complaint alleges that KPWR did so “knowing or having reason to know” that the infringement was without authorization or license.

The lawsuit argues that KPWR generated “significant traffic” to its social media and “increased revenue, in large part due to the presence of the sought-after and sought-after celebrity photographs that frame this dispute.”

Backgrid says it “suffered significant economic damage” and is asking for a jury trial. He is asking for a declaration that KPWR infringes his copyright and an order that would restrain him from any further alleged infringement. It also seeks to account for all the benefits and advantages derived from the use of celebrity photos. Backgrid is also seeking actual damages, statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and interest.

Jack C. Nugent