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Perez Hilton Threatened with Lawsuits

LOS ANGELES – “Hollywood’s Most-Hated Web Site” just made a few new enemies.

Seven of Tinseltown’s top photo agencies have threatened to sue the popular celebrity-skewering site PerezHilton.com for allegedly stealing their pictures, a spokesman for the shutterbugs said last night.

“Perez [pictured] claims he is making a fortune off exploiting pictures taken by photographers. He blatantly violates copyright and makes advertising revenues off other people’s works.

“It’s time he is held accountable for his actions,” Gary Morgan of Splash News said in a statement.

PerezHilton.com routinely posts the most salacious celeb shots – like this week’s panty-free Britney Spears – without crediting the photographer or agency. The ripped-off lensmen say the site, which bills itself as “Hollywood’s Most-Hated Web Site” routinely fails to pay for use of their pics.

“We have filed a letter giving him the chance to either pay up for all his copyright violations or face the music,” Morgan said.

If the Web site doesn’t pay by next week, the agencies will file suit in Federal Court, Morgan said. He said the bill for the purloined pics would be an estimated “hundreds of thousands per month” and a suit could seek “tens of millions” in compensation and damages.

The Web site’s chief, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, responded to a request for comment by e-mail.

“I have yet to be personally served with this lawsuit. My lawyers and I will address the situation when we have an opportunity to review the materials,” Lavandeira wrote.

The other photo agencies joined in the fight are INF, Ramey, Bauer-Griffin, WENN, Most Wanted and Flynet, Morgan [email protected]
 

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