PopSugar Being Sued for Stealing Bloggers’ Photos

A couple of month’s ago, Bloggers on Instagram accused PopSugar of stealing their content and switching out RewardStyle affiliate links for its own. Now, the publication is being sued for it.

According to an article on The Fashion Law, PopSugar is being sued for millions for stealing bloggers’ content on Instagram. A couple of months ago, bloggers accused the publication of stealing their content and switching out RewardStyle links for their own.

One of the bloggers, Nita Batra, filed a lawsuit in a California federal court in which she says the publication “decided to capitalize on the influencers’ social media following by copying and posting thousands of influencers’ Instagram images, [as well as their Instagram profile photos and bio line information] on its own website without authorization.”

According to the lawsuit, Batra, who has about 250,000 followers on Instagram, alleges the publication took thousands of bloggers’ photos on Instagram to make shopable pages and blogger pages on its website. Batra also says the publication “removed the products’ affiliate links”, which with shopping app RewardStyle or Liketoknow.it, lets bloggers earn a commission if their followers buy any products with the links.

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Instead of the RewardStyle links, the publication removed them changed them to ShopStyle links, a company the publication “previously owned, and [was using] at the time of the acts alleged herein.” In switching links, the publication “diverted commissions from the sales of products featured in the [influencers’] images to itself … in order to monetize the content for its own benefit.”

When the publication was accused of stealing bloggers’ content a couple of months ago, Sugar released a statement saying it was a project that resulted from a hackathon “using publicly accessible API’s to gain an understanding across brands, retailers, and categories,” and that the affiliate links were changed so that the publication could “track clicks to retailers and understand trends internally.” The company didn’t finish the project but the links were left in the content and profiles. He also said the company’s made $2,695 in commissions from the links and plans to pay bloggers what they’re owed.

Batra is asking the court to approved her class action lawsuit, which would let any other blogger that the publication stole photos from to join the lawsuit. She is also suing the company for over $5 million.

The publication did not respond to requests for comment.

So, what do you think? Did PopSugar steal bloggers’ content on Instagram? Let me know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to get new posts sent directly to your inbox and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.


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