Some interesting developments. First, the image is now gone from Instagram and Mars' other social media sites. This suggests, at the very least, that Mars and Warner music are taking the lawsuit seriously. Second, I've manged to find a copy of the case filing. You can get it here (PDF). A few interesting observations from the lawsuit. As I suspected, the photograph is indeed registered with the United States Copyright Office, with registration number VA 2-067-037. I looked up the registration at the US Copyright Office website, and it appears that she registered a group of Bruno Mars images in 2011, including this one. The suit not only names Warner Music as a defendant, but asserts that "at all times material hereto, Warner has operated the Mars Websites with Mars." That is, the suit claims that this isn't simply some guy's private Instagram account, but is effectively a commercial enterprise co-operated by his record label with the explicit intent of promoting Bruno Mars commercially and artistically. I would be very surprised if Bruno Mars spends much time running his own Instagram account, and if this suit finds out that Mars' Instagram site was usually updated by Warner Music employees, that's going to look pretty bad for the defendants in this case. The final thing that interested me is that, while she could seek statutory damages in this case (because the image is registered), she is not seeking statutory damages. She has decided to ask for "actual damages and Defendant’s profits, gains or advantages of any kind attributable to Defendant’s infringement of Plaintiff’s Photograph." I'm not exactly sure how actual damages and profits would be calculated in a case like this. At the very least, in calculating damages, the court would consider how much money the photographer might have earned from licensing a photo to Bruno Mars and Warner Music for promotional purposes, especially when that image has been liked online by well over 1 million people, and undoubtedly viewed by millions more. The lawsuit calls for a jury trial, but I will admit right here and now that I will be absolutely amazed if it ever gets to court. My money, right now, is on Mars and Warner reaching some sort of settlement with the photographer. I hope I'm wrong, because this would be quite an interesting case to follow. If it does go to court, I am almost certain that the plaintiff will prevail, although I couldn't even guess at what sort of financial settlement she would get.