X17 Inc. v. Lavandeira, Civil No. 06-07608 (C.D. Cal. filed Nov. 30, 2006)
Status: Settled, Feb. 2008 (unknown terms)

A photo agency that specializes in “paparazzi” photographs of celebrities filed suit against blogger Mario Lavandeira, who operates the perezhilton.com website, which adds satirical captions to celebrity photos, for copyright violations. Lavandeira responded to the suit by saying that his work was a parody and thus constitutes fair use. In February 2007, the court denied X17’s motion for an injunction barring Lavandeira from copying, reproducing, displaying, or distributing its photographs. In June 2007, X17 filed numerous infringement claims with the Australian company that hosts the site, leading that company to stop hosting it. The site reappeared with a new web host, and Lavandeira filed his own lawsuit, Lavandeira v. X17, Inc., BC373254 (Cal. Super. Ct. filed June 25, 2007), alleging that X17 was engaged in unfair competition with his site. The court granted a defense motion to dismiss that case; X17 appealed, but the parties then reached a settlement.

Links and Court Documents:
Complaint in Lavandeira v. X17 at http://www.hollywoodreporteresq.com/thresq/photos/Lavandiera_v_X17_complaint.pdf

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