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Perfect 10 Alleges Copyright Infringement

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.–On June 29, Perfect 10, Inc., the publisher of Perfect 10 Magazine and owner of the website, filed a suit against Amazon, Inc.

The next day, Perfect 10 filed a motion for preliminary injunction. The motion for preliminary injunction seeks to enjoin Amazon and its “search engine” subsidiary,, from copying, displaying, and distributing Perfect 10 copyrighted images. Perfect 10 filed a complaint against Google, Inc. for copyright infringement and other claims in November of 2004, and that lawsuit is ongoing.

It is Perfect 10’s contention that “search engines” such as and Google are displaying hundreds of thousands of adult images, from the most tame to the most exceedingly explicit, to draw massive traffic to their web sites, which they convert into ad revenue or sales revenue. Perfect 10, Inc. claims that under the guise of being “search engines,” Amazon and Google now display, free of charge, thousands of copies of the best images from Perfect 10, Playboy, nude scenes from major movies, nude images of supermodels, as well as, on the explicit side, thousands of images of animals having sex with humans. Perfect 10 has sent numerous notices of infringement (34 to Google and 7 to Amazon) but both continue to display over 2,500 copies of more than 1,000 of Perfect 10’s best copyrighted images without authorization.

According to Dr. Norm Zada [pictured], a former Stanford, UCLA, and Columbia University professor and IBM Computer Science Research Staff Member who began publishing Perfect 10 Magazine in 1997, most of the traffic to search engines for which they are receiving billions of dollars in advertising is sex-related. “Overture’s Key Selector Tool indicates that most searches on the internet are sex-related,” says Zada. “Google’s extraordinary gain in market cap from nothing a few years ago to over eighty billion, is more due to their massive misappropriation of intellectual property than anything else,” says Zada.

According to Perfect 10, Amazon and will likely argue that because they provide a “search function,” they should be excused from liability for copyright infringement. From Perfect10’s standpoint, search engines like and Google aren’t directing people where to find Perfect 10 images — that would be Perfect 10 Magazine and — rather, they are displaying Perfect 10 images themselves. To the extent that or Google do direct users searching for Perfect 10 pictures, it is virtually always to a website which misappropriated those images, not to, Zada says.

“Google is currently displaying Perfect 10 copyrighted images and linking them to websites containing numerous other Perfect 10 copyrighted images and ads for which Google earns revenue,” says Zada. “Google is no longer a legitimate search engine,” says Zada. “It is a commercial advertising operation determined to increase ad revenue regardless of what rights it tramples on in the process,” says Zada.

Zada believes that the outcome of Perfect 10’s motion for preliminary injunction should have a major impact not only on Perfect 10, but also on traditional media outlets which are losing the ad revenue war to search engines. Right now, he says, consumers who want to view a nude scene involving Halle Berry, Nicole Kidman, or other Hollywood beauties, can view that scene for free by visiting a search engine. If the search engines ultimately lose the unfair advantage they currently have by offering the best images from Perfect10, Playboy, Hollywood Studios, and other copyright holders for free, it is likely that the advertising dollars currently being attracted to search engines will move back to the legitimate players, namely the Hollywood studios, and legitimate publishers who are not misappropriating billions of dollars of other people’s property under the premise that they are providing some sort of “search function.”

“If the courts ultimately rule that providing a search function is all that is necessary to avoid liability for copying, displaying, and distributing unlimited quantities of images, songs, films, and software, that will be the end of intellectual property in this country,” says Zada.

Perfect 10 is represented by Russell Frackman of Mitchell, Silverberg & Knupp;Jeffrey Mausner of Berman, Mausner, and Resser; and Daniel Cooper, General Counsel of Perfect 10, Inc.


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