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Hey Perez Hilton - see you next Tuesday!

QuizLaw: Douchebagsayswhat.

Perez Hilton: What?

QL: Douchebagsayswhat.

PH: What?!

QL: …exactly.

I think the underlying message of this little morality play is fairly obvious - we here at QuizLaw think that Perez Hilton is a douchebag. Who is Perez Hilton, you ask? Well, you’re better for not knowing. He’s this gossip blogger who changed his name from Mario Lavandeira to the oh-so-fabulous “Perez Hilton.” He loves being a bitch, but often ends up just being a douchebag. Now he’s pointed his douchebaggery towards a legal issue, making him fair game for QuizLaw. Here’s the skinny.

There’s this website, X17 Online, which is a new blog for the X17 Agency, a celebrity photo agency (a.k.a., a paparazzi shop). As detailed here, X17 has decided to crack down on other blogs and websites that use its photos without a license or permission. They’ve let the matter slide for years, and have basically allowed free use of their images. But now that they’re blogging on their own, they’d like to be able to have their images be exclusive to them. Plus, it’s just harder in general to make money on these photos when they’re floating all over the internets. Whatever you think about the paparazzi industry, there’s an obvious thirst in our country for the photos, so X17’s new position makes sense. And it’s their legal right - they own the copyright in their photos and can do what they want with them.

Anyway, they sent out a note to various celebrity/gossip blogs, basically asking them to stop using their photos without permission. As detailed by Jossip, the note was relatively friendly:

Hi there — sorry, but I think the free ride’s ending. We’re asking that everyone cease and desist using X17’s images, watermarked or not, effective immediately. We’ve gotta get some traffic out of our Britney story and when other sites run all our pix, even with a link to us, what good does it do for us? Sorry guys, but from now on we will offer images for license only. We may be able to work out some deals with particular websites for the use of one or two images/story in certain circumstances, but you need to email first for permission. If you have pitches you’d like to make about why you should be able to use our images, how you’d like to work with us, etc., we’re always open to suggestions. This is not an angry email, we just have to start protecting our images and not giving them away — we’re losing money, guys!
This means no Britney pix unless you email first and we’ll decide on a case-by-case basis.

All told, that’s a pretty reasonable letter. X17 could’ve come right out the gate with a strongly worded “cease and desist” letter - I’ve written some of those in my law firm days, and you can make them real nasty sounding. But they took the relative high road.

But douchebag-extroidanaire Perez Hilton decided to bypass that high road with an amazingly ignorant and vulgar response:

Don’t threaten me bitch. I’m not scared! I would have gladly put up a link to your site but you had to get all nasty.
Instead of wanting to have me as a friend or an ally you choose to be a cunt! CUNT! And I don’t wanna work with cunts. And liars. And unethical people. And that’s what you are!
You’ve tried to fuck me over. And you’ve only fucked yourself over.

So the folks at X17 are cunts and liars and unethical people because they don’t want other people committing copyright infringement by illegally using their photos?


Dear Mr. Lavandiera douchebag Hilton - copyright law has been around for 200+ years now. There are plenty of places you can read up on it. Hell, you can learn about it right here on this very site! And yes, there is a little principle called fair use which sometimes allows folks to use copyrighted material without permission or a license. But your commercial use of a fully protected photograph, in a way that probably decreases the original photo’s market value, is not likely to be found fair use. So you’re probably the unethical cunt. But thanks for playing.

| Comments (3)


Perez may be a douche, but this link bait attempt is faulty. Perez Hilton's site has linked x17's site numerous times. If it wasn't for Perez, x17 would be just another shitty blog. They should be thanking Perez and other blogs for increasing their page impressions and unique visitors. If they were smart enough, they would learn to monetize it.

How can they want photos to be exclusive when they put them up on the web for everyone to see. Not to mention their photos are tagged with huge x17online.com. In the past x17 has even thanked Perez for linking them. They only started to care about this once they got their traffic up but couldn't get any ad buys and are now playing the copyright card.

How dare you say I can't keep using your stuff for free! I'm not going to use your stuff anymore at all! That'll learn ya! Yeah!

That's easily the friendliest cease-and-desist letter I've ever seen. They actually apologize, for heaven's sake! Twice!

I've had a couple of C&Ds before and that one up there reads like a love letter in comparison.