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How to avoid a $7.6 million lawsuit

December 19th, 2006 · 5 Comments

X17 Inc., a Los Angeles photo agency known for its images of stars in personal or embarrassing moments, has filed a $7.6 million federal copyright infringement lawsuit against celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. The lawsuit claims that the celebrity gossip website used 51 photographs without permission, payment or credit and X17 co-owner Brandy Navarre is quoted as saying “We’ve had trouble with a lot of bloggers”.

Yikes! $7.6 million? That’s a whole lot of AdSense clicks…

The best way to avoid ending up in court is to use royalty free images or images licensed under creative commons. Sure there may not be any pics of Britney Spears badly wrapped kebab but at least you won’t end up in court.

You could also take the novel approach of the Australian cricket blog, The Ashes Blog. After they were threatened with legal action for using copyright images, they decided to re-enact key moments from games in someones back garden.

Assuming that this approach is too much like hard work, here’s a list of free and low-cost photo resources that you might like to use. If you have any more, can you add them via the comments box?

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Tags: General

5 responses so far ↓

  • Darryl // Dec 19, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    I’d just like to clarify that The Ashes Blog wasn’t actually threatened with legal action for using copyright images. As a professional photographer, I am aware of the issues involved in using the work of another professional photographer without due payment being given. So from the first moment I wanted to use photos of cricket action on my blog, I decided to go with my own backyard re-enactments.

    Anyway, thanks for the link, and thanks for this blog. It’s the first time I’ve come across Twenty Steps, and it’s pretty darn good.


  • Mike // Dec 19, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Darryl,

    Sorry about that, mate! I’d read somewhere that this was the reason behind the re-enactments. Either way, it’s a great idea and makes the blog worth reading…even as an England fan.

    Great to have you pop in and for leaving a nice comment. You’re more than welcome to come back as long as you don’t gloat 😉


  • Mike // Dec 22, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    Some interesting analysis of the whole Perez Hilton thing over here

  • web design mumbai // Aug 22, 2007 at 6:37 am

    wo wo
    that is a sure serious thing man
    even such thing happened in my company.
    that is why free or royalty free images are hard to find

  • Tudor // Dec 27, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Considering a photo on istockphoto only costs between 1-7$ why even take the risk? Those are very nice photos and you can watch the whole gallery with watermarked pictures and only buy one that you like.

    As for the gut that stole those celebrity photos….he got what he deserved. He made money using other people’s work and he ended up paying for it. Good for him