Perez in Peril

Perez Hilton, gossip blogger extraordinaire (I’ll admit it, I check his website daily), is in trouble: there are 4 copyright infringement/theft lawsuits pending against him, and his web host has dropped him.  Every day, Perez posts the most recent scoop on celebrities and uses photographs (to which he adds his own captions and illustrations–devil horns, pee drops, etc.) taken by paparazzi.  The paparazzi companies are now suing Perez, who is defending his lawsuits on the grounds that his use of the photos falls under the Fair Use provision of the Copyright Act.

Very interesting.

I don’t know how Hilton is going to squeeze himself into the Fair Use exception (here’s a fact sheet on Fair Use, have fun).  It seems to me that disseminating copyrighted photos to millions of people is unambiguous theft.  It’s tricky with the Internet, though, because the amount of exposure the “stolen” image gets depends entirely on the actions and “word of mouth” of others; in other words, it depends on who chooses to visit the site, which is not in Perez’s control.  Then again, he knows how many bazillions of people read his blog everyday: he’s not in some little corner of the Internet like me, posting to a handful of daily visitors.  Hope his lawyers are clever.

Personally, I get a kick out of seeing the value of scumbag paparazzi’s photos decline because Perez Hilton radically outperforms the gossip magazines and tabloids the paparazzi sell their pictures to.  If the world was fair, paparazzi would not be so richly rewarded for what we call stalking under any other circumstances.  But at first glance, it looks like the law is on their side.  

~ by lewdandlascivious on June 21, 2007.

2 Responses to “Perez in Peril”

  1. “I’ll admit it, I check his website daily”

    I would giggle at you if I didn’t know that I watched four nights worth of professional wrestling each week. 🙂

  2. Haha, yeah we all have our guilty pleasures. . .pro wrestling is kind of awesome tho.

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