It’s hard to know whom to sympathize with in this fight.
On one side: the paparazzi who stalk celebrities in their moments of greatest vulnerability â€” at doctors’ offices, with their newborns, when they are falling-down drunk.
On the other: a blogger who helps himself to those photos, scrawls puerile comments on them, and posts them on his immensely popular and profitable website.
The owners of one L.A. photo agency are so frustrated with what they consider to be blatant theft by self-styled “gossip gangsta” Perez Hilton that they’ve decided to make a federal case of it.
On Nov. 30, X17 Inc., known for the aggressive pursuit of celebrity prey, filed a $7.6-million federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Hilton, alleging that he has used 51 photos without permission, payment or credit.
[…] This conflict is more than a juicy legal fight between two controversial enterprises. It’s also the manifestation of a cultural shift in how those obsessed with pop culture get their fixes. These days, no one has to wait for People’s weekly appearance on the newsstand or even “Access Hollywood’s” nightly roundups to find out about Nicole Richie’s latest arrest or shockingly low weight.