A judge has denied X17’s request to enjoin Perez Hilton from continuing to use its photos on his website without the company’s permission. And this pisses me off, not just because the QuizLaw clan is less-than-enthusiastic about Perez, but also because it sounds like this was mainly an issue of X17’s lawyer’s screwing the pooch.
We originally told you about this story last October, but the nutshell version is that the photo agency asked Perez, along with several other gossip blogs, to kindly stop the unauthorized use of its copyright-protected photos. Perez, in that way that only he can, obnoxiously told them that they were scumbags who had, by sending this message, some how fucked themselves over.
Anyway, in an order last week, the District Court ruled that X17 had not met its legal burden to obtain a preliminary injunction. Specifically, the Court said X17 failed to present enough evidence to show both that it had a likelihood of success and that it was suffering irreparable injury. The Court went on to explain that the central problem was that X17 failed to properly authenticate some of the evidence it had submitted - for example, while it submitted copyright registrations, it didn’t provide information about who actually prepared or filed them (or even evidence, apparently, that the registrations were actually filed).
This sounds like a pretty big screwup by the lawyer, if you ask me. When you’re submitting evidence like this, it’s pretty standard to include a detailed declaration from someone at the company, often the so-called “custodian of records,” who can provide statements as to the documents’ authenticity (that is, how they were created/obtained, etc.) I also question this statement by the X17 lawyer: “We feel we presented proper evidence, especially under the lax standards for a preliminary injunction.” Uhm, really? I’ve never considered the standards for a preliminary injunction “lax.” In fact, I have obtained both preliminary injunctions and temporary restraining orders (which are even harder to get) in the very same Los Angeles federal court, and we had to go out of our way to provide very detailed information authenticating and establishing every piece of submitted evidence.
In any event, X17’s attorneys say they will try again: “we’re happy to come back and provide the court with the evidence it needs.” Here’s hoping the lawyers get it right on their second go-round.