The Other Blogging Shoe Finally Drops
Gay gossip blogger Mario Lavendeira, aka Pezen Hilton, is being sued for $7.5 million in a copyright infringement case filed by a top celebrity photo agency, with several more agencies said to be in the process of filing similar suits. In the suit, reported upon by Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood, the photo agency X17 contends that Lavendeira is personally profiting from the work of others, via his site advertising, where ads have been going for as much as $16,000/week. This suit has prompted one top NYC gay blogger, Richard Rothstein, author of Proceed At Your Own Risk, to immediately pull all advertising from his site.
I have been expecting these lawsuits for years and quite frankly I think the only reason they are finally coming now is the enormous money that sites like Perez Hiltion and Pink Is The New Blog are now making. Commentary on news stories, using proper attribution via links or text, is fine. But the wholesale lifting of the work of others? Not so much. Here at JMG, most of my photos are original, other than those sent me by publicists. But now I must rethink even the rare occasions when I use photos such as the one I took from Ruth Brown's obituary.