Blogger sued for copyright infringement
The Telegraaf (Dutch newspaper) reported in their issue of yesterday that Perez Hilton (real name Mario Lavandeira) is being sued for 7.5 million dollars by 7 photo agencies. This blogger searches the internet for photo’s of celebrities and then places them on his own blog. The blog of Perez focusses on gossip about celebrities, one could say he scoops the internet for dirt and gossip on stars and then places it on his blog.
I find this lawsuit interesting, because it shows that bloggers are not just eagles who are in complete freedom of what they place on their blog. Bloggers need to realise that laws and rules also apply to them and that there are blogger ethics that bloggers have to follow. Albert Benschop writes on his sociosite that bloggers need to realise that the entries they place on their blogs are being consided as publications. That means they can be sued by others if the information is insultive or in the case of Perez Hilton can be considered as copyright infringement.
Cyberjournalist.net has draught a bloggers code of ethics, based on the code of ethics from the society of professional journalists. So it would be wise for bloggers to be aware of these ethics and to apply them to the information on their own blogs.
The news item on TMZ reports the following on this matter:
A Hollywood photo agency is suing snarky gossip blogger Perez Hilton aka Mario Lavandeira, for copyright infringement. The agency claims Perez used their images on his website “without permission from the agency, thereby violating federal law.”
The tabloid agency 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. The photo agency believes their pics have played a large part in the success and profitability of perezhilton.com, which reportedly charges between $9,000 and $16,000 a week for ad space. It costs plenty to appear next to Britney’s crotch!
Perez tells TMZ, “I have yet to be personally served with this lawsuit. My lawyers and I will address the situation when we have the opportunity to review the materials.”
The self-proclaimed “Gossip Gangsta,” who calls a local L.A. coffee shop 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.
More information here:
- legal document of this lawsuit
- http://www.telegraaf.nl/i-mail/article55629771.ece?cid=rss (this article is in Dutch)
- http://www.sociosite.org/weblog.php (article is in Dutch)