Dragging the (Assumed) Hilton Name Deeper into the Paparazzi and Courtroom Mud: Perez Hilton

Holy crap! I was in the magazine shop today and they had Fox News on their televisions. All I heard were the words “celebrity blogger” and “sued” and my ears perked up and when I looked up at the screen I saw a giant picture of Mario (aka Perez Hilton) staring back at me.

“Celebrity photo” agency, X17 is suing Perez Hilton for $7.6 million for the alleged illegal use of 51 photos on his website. X17 claims Hilton is committing copyright infringement. Perez contends that he is using images under the fair use of newsworthy images.

This is an incredibly interesting case for a number of reasons: The outcome of this case might determine a president precedent (hellooooo 3am postings) for other blogs and their use of copyrighted images, there’s the whole personal vendetta element between X17 and Perez, this story is going to BLOW up all over the internetz and tv, making both X17 and Perez Hilton even bigger presences, and whoever wins, we all are losers, because some lawyer is going to make the case that photos of Britney Spears’s vagina is somehow “newsworthy”. Get ready to get dumb, America.

Leave your comments on the issue to Perez on his blog post about the lawsuit, and same goes for X17.

Published by Laura

I run The Modern Age.org

6 replies on “Dragging the (Assumed) Hilton Name Deeper into the Paparazzi and Courtroom Mud: Perez Hilton”

  1. My Lord,
    The grates just played in Brisbane (Australia) on Saturday. I hope they asked santa for a sleep.
    No wait… I can’t beleive I just bought into that ‘poor tired rockstar’ shit. They only work like 2 hours a day.
    Scrap that.

  2. Perez Hilton once posted all of my Norah Jones “punk” band photos (after her show at Delancey) on his site with no photo credit (even after I emailed him and said I’d appreciate one). Grr.

    This should be an interesting case.

  3. This case will have NO impact on Fair Use – it’s not even remotely possible that perezhilton will win – it’s merely a matter of how much money will be awarded to x17. He’s not parodying the people, he’s presenting copyrighted photos on his site without paying for them or being given permission as you need to do by law. He is trying to say that Fair Use permits him to use without permission or payment, pictures that others have taken. Fair Use allows for people to use parts of a work when analyzing or criticizing the work itself, but he isn’t analyzing the work (the picture), he’s writing about the people in the pictures, which is a huge difference.

    The four factors of Fair Use:
    1. The Transformative Factor: The Purpose and Character of Your Use – perez 0, x17 1
    2. The Nature of the Copyrighted Work – perez 0, x17 2 (as I understand it, perezhilton.com acquired and used some photos before they could be sold, thus making them useless to others)
    3. The Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Taken – perez 0, x17 3
    4. The Effect of the Use Upon the Potential Market – perez 0, x17 4

    Total score – perez 0, x17 4 PEREZ LOSES!


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