Perez Hilton sues Perezrevenge.com for cyber-squatting
UPDATE: Elizabeth Silver-Fagan said in an interview that she "can't imagine" that anyone would think Perez Hilton endorsed her site.
Celebrity celebrity-blogger Mario Lavandeira, better known as Perez Hilton, is quite possibly better at dishing it out than taking it.
The Los Angeles-based cultural authority, whose moniker could conceivably have something to do with the name of infrequently-clothed blond person Paris Hilton, is going to court to protect said moniker.
Lavandeira sued Infuse LLC, Margie E. Rogers and Elizabeth Silver-Fagan in L.A. federal court on Monday, accusing them of being the respective owner, editor and publisher of Perezrevenge.com. You can download a PDF of the lawsuit here.
Best known for annotating pictures of famous people and critiquing them, Lavandeira is demonstrably unhappy with the smaller site's purported tendency to post artwork from and critique PerezHilton.com.
The suit accuses the offenders of cyber-squatting and deceptive trade practices, with no reference to whether they look foolish in whatever they are wearing.
The defendants, who didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, stand accused in the lawsuit of misleading the public by creating the impression that their site "is associated with and/or is otherwise authorized or endorsed by Lavandeira."
It's not clear how long such a misapprehension would last, however, since one recent post at the site began: "Mario Lavandeira a/k/a PerezHilton has once again twisted the facts (pictures below) so that he can spew his garbage, churn the rumor mill because he never??? tries to confirm a thing he writes."
The issue of confusion is an important one, legally-wise.
For example, even though it has the address www.drudge.com, DrudgeRetort probably would withstand accusations of unfairly usurping the page clicks more properly due the more famous DrudgeReport. That's because no one spending more than a few seconds on the liberal-leaning news and commentary site, which recently found itself in a legal scrap with the Associated Press, could think it was backed by Matt Drudge.
Or maybe it's still there because Drudge, who has been around the Web even longer than Lavandeira, knows that nothing generates more traffic for the little guy than a big ol' catfight.
-- Joseph Menn
Photo: Blogger Mario Lavandeira, better known as Perez Hilton, is going to court to protect his moniker. Credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times