Is Perez Hilton.com about to be a thing of the past?
The gossip blog that paved the way for a million cheap imitators (including the one you're reading right now) is in a world of hurt thanks to the numerous lawsuits facing its creator, former publicist Mario Lavandeira. Legal pressure even forced the site's host, Crucial Paradigm, to drop it - leaving the internet's most popular celebrity dirt destination temporarily out of commission (it has since come back on-line).
Perez is currently the subject of four lawsuits from various photo agencies, all of whom claim the blogger has made millions largely through the unlicensed reproduction of their pictures. Crucial Paradigm's decision to jettison Perez came after lawyers for photo agency X17 put the screws to them over Perez's repeated unlawful use of their images on his site. Said X17's co-owner Francois Navarre:
It's the first victory, and we put a lot of work into trying to get this to happen. ... It's a precedent that's huge. When we were talking to Crucial Paradigm they were saying they were not responsible, dragging their feet. We had to threaten them and show them they were liable. His new host is Blogads, and we're contacting them already.
X17's strong-arm tactics against Perez's webhost could have a chilling effect on the lucrative (for some) business of celebrity blogging. Now, bloggers may face the prospect of losing their hosting should they repeatedly violate copyrights. This could be devastating to blogs that rely mainly on stolen and altered images, as Perez's does. People who can actually write should be okay though.