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Perez Hilton takes their best shots

Perez_1

The gossip blogger's use of an agency's paparazzi photos puts the legal spotlight on copyright infringement

By Robin Abcarian
Lost Angeles Times

It's hard to know whom to sympathize with in this fight.

On one side: the paparazzi who stalk celebrities in their moments of greatest vulnerability — at doctors' offices, with their newborns, when they are falling-down drunk.

On the other: a blogger who helps himself to those photos, scrawls puerile comments on them, and posts them on his immensely popular and profitable website.

The owners of one L.A. photo agency are so frustrated with what they consider to be blatant theft by self-styled "gossip gangsta" Perez Hilton that they've decided to make a federal case of it.

On Nov. 30, X17 Inc., known for the aggressive pursuit of celebrity prey, filed a $7.6-million federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Hilton, alleging that he has used 51 photos without permission, payment or credit.

The list of allegedly infringed photos is an almost poetic inventory of the state of pop culture and people's obsession with it: "Pregnant Katie Holmes," "Kevin Federline Pumping Gas," "The New Slim Britney Spears," "Britney Spears Exposes Her Derriere," "Britney Spears Exposes Herself (Again)."

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Good news. He’s a pig-headed thief who had this coming to him. I hope he loses his case and gets thrown in prison or forced to pay the $7.6 million or something. Plus, most of his site’s trash. It’s not a celeb gossip blog but rather a celeb bash blog. He’s very rude, crude and outrageously obnoxious (a lot of celeb gossip authors are in a sense, but he crosses the line WAY too much). He actually takes pictures of celeb’s kids and babies and writes junk about them, saying they’re ugly, etc. He just has a rotten attitude and needs to get over himself and pull his head out of his buttocks. Hopefully this experience will help him tame down a bit and lighten up, but I doubt it.

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