Judge rules woman can keep selfie with Kylie Jenner on her Instagram page
© Linda Hammond

A woman will be allowed to keep her selfie with reality star Kylie Jenner on Instagram after an Australian judge ruled that the photo was equivalent to an autograph, BuzzFeed News reported.

The woman, Linda Hammond, is the co-founder of sunglasses store Quay, and snapped and posted the photo with Jenner after the celebrity did a photoshoot to endorse the products in 2017.

Hammond and her husband sold most of the shares of Quay in 2016 to a British company, Elevate Brandpartners, and started a new company called Dream Bandits, which sells lingerie. But she remained a member of Quay's board after selling the shares. 

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Elevate sued the couple over a number of issues, according to BuzzFeed News, and alleged that they were improperly suggesting that Dream Bandits’ products are sponsored or associated with Quay. Quay also filed trademark and copyright charges against the couple, and they alleged they lured a Quay employee to their new company.

When Hammond posted the selfie with Jenner on her Instagram account a second time in May, Elevate claimed that she left Quay open to being sued by Jenner because she was no longer being paid to endorse the company after her nine-month endorsement contract was up.

But in a Tuesday decision, an Australian judge, Angus Stewart, found that Jenner’s selfie with Hammond was owned by the businesswoman and that forcing her to delete “would intrude on Ms. Hammond’s personal freedom and control over her Instagram account.”

He added that it was unlikely Jenner, one of the most popular Instagram users with over 140 million followers, would sue over the photo. Hammond tagged Jenner in the caption and included “#kyliejenner,” and Jenner and her management never complained about the photo, according to BuzzFeed News.

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"From this I infer that if Ms. Jenner or her management are meticulous in protecting the use of her image, as the applicants’ case presumes that they are, this post is likely to have come to their attention," Stewart said.

The judge also said that the star looking comfortable next to Hammond suggested that the photo was not part of a business deal.

"Its un-posed familiarity and informality would suggest that it was not intended to be anything more than a modern-day photographic equivalent of what was once an autograph," he said.