Blogger Perez Hilton Sued For Copyright Infringement

LOS ANGELES (December 1, 2006) — Internet gossip blogger Perez Hilton is being sued by X17. Seven other celebrity photo agencies are also considering filing a lawsuit. The agencies have sent a letter demanding payment for all infringement material.

X17, who filed suit separately against Perez (aka Mario Lavendeira), claims Perez “knowingly and willfully used X17’s images on his blog without permission from the agency, thereby violating federal law.”

“Mr. Lavandeira has regularly infringed on X17?s large scoops. While it usually takes weeks of effort by a team of photographers and reporters to break a story, for Mr. Lavandeira, it has been as simple as a right-click,” the agency said in a release.

The agency also claims Perez’s actions “have caused substantial damage to X17’s business.”

X17 is seeking over $7.5 million dollars in damages from Perez for what they say is a loss of profits and injury to their reputation.

While Hilton’s site is not a pay site, he makes his money on advertising.

“Mr. Lavandeira is profiting through advertisements on his site (one-week ads on his site go for between $9000 – $16,000) and has gained relative fame from the success of his blog, which, X17 contends, is due in large part to the quality and quantity of celebrity images he posts on his site, many of which are owned by X17,” the release stated.

Hilton, the self-proclaimed “Queen of All Media” who uses a local L.A. coffee shop as his “office,” is currently scheduled to appear on the upcoming “Big in ‘06 Awards” on VH1, and on MTV’s New Year’s Eve special.

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