Perez Hilton suit a warning for Dead Tree Media?
The incredibly popular website (8 million visitors a day), Perezhilton.com, has been collecting copyright violation lawsuits of late. It would appear that several celebrity photo agencies didn’t appreciate Perez lifting their shots from their website for free. He was kicked off his main host, and the once smooth operation is hanging together with string and bailing wire, according to Variety Magazine:
“Hilton is currently named in four lawsuits involving eight photo agencies for his alleged theft of photographs that appear on his site, one that’s been a popular gossip destination for some 2½ years. Hilton frequently adds his own captions to the shots.
“It’s the first victory, and we put a lot of work into trying to get this to happen,” said Francois Navarre, co-owner of L.A.-based X17 agency. His company has filed a suit against Hilton, claiming that Hilton has been using X17 images for nearly a year.
Stated Nick Penkovsky, a member of the legal team representing five agencies suing Hilton. “It’s always been our position that this lawsuit is not simply about protecting our clients’ work, but that copyrighted work is not free to be poached for posting on the Internet without permission and compensation.”
Hilton, who has contended that his actions fall under the fair use provision of the Copyright Act, did not respond to Daily Variety.”
If blogs are copyrighted (and they are), how much longer will Dead Tree Media journalists feel comfortable about “poaching” work and ideas from the internet without even a reference (see prior posts beginning with “Is imitation truly flattering?” June 16-07?
The watch continues….