Los Angeles - First, the paparazzi sued him for allegedly stealing photos. Now, celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, the self-styled “Queen of All Media,” can add a major movie studio to the list of enemies vying to dethrone him.
On Tuesday, Universal City Studios Production filed a copyright-infringement suit against Hilton in U.S. District Court for posting on his Web site a topless photo of Jennifer Aniston from the 2006 comedy “The Break-Up.” The studio is seeking an injunction against Hilton’s use of the image and does not specify damages.
Universal’s copyright suit is the second in three months against Hilton, 28, whose brutal commentary and crude doodlings on paparazzi photos draw more than 4 million celebrity-gawkers a day to his Web site, perezhilton.com. Anniston is one of dozens of celebrities ridiculed frequently in Hilton’s blog postings.
Aniston’s publicist could not be reached for comment.
On Nov. 30, Pacific Palisades based paparazzi agency X17 filed a $7.5 million suit against Hilton in federal court, alleging that he routinely posts the agency’s copyrighted photos without paying them – sometimes, before they are published elsewhere.
X17’s complaint asserts that Hilton steals traffic and advertising revenue from the agency’s Web site also is seeking an injunction.
X17 also claims that Hilton is liable for “Hot News” misappropriate, an unfair-competition tort based on the 1918 Supreme Court case International News Service v. Associated Press. In that case, the court ruled that while facts cannot be copyrighted, the Associate Press has the right to protect the time-sensitive news it gathers.
Hilton’s attorneys argue that their client is not a direct competitor of X17, a key element of the hot-news claim.
X17 has admitted under oath that it is in business for the sole purpose of licensing its images to magazines, newspapers and television outlets around the world,” said Michael M. Amir of Century City-based Doll Amir & Eley, which also is representing Hilton in the X17 suit. “There can be no dispute that perezhilton.com has a different purpose.