December 06, 2011 2:02pm PT by Sofia M. Fernandez , Eriq Gardner
Katy Perry Photos at Center of $3 Million Paparazzi Showdown
Katy Perry is at the center of $3 million legal showdown between celebrity photo agency Mavrix and CraveOnline Media, a company it accuses of pilfering copyrighted images of the singer and profiting off of them on its websites.
It is the tenth such copyright infringement lawsuit that the company has filed in the past two years against defendants such as MSNBC's website (which was eventually dropped) and The Daily Mail of London.
Mavrix accuses CraveOnline's Idontlikeyouinthatway website of reproducing, publicly distributing and publicly displaying "copyright protected photographs belonging to Mavrix on numerous occasions" without its permission, writes Courthouse News Service.
Mavrix claims it commands as much as $100,000 for a celeb snapshot and that by illegally using their copyright-protected photos, CraveOnline and its subsidiaries, "have driven massive traffic to their website in part due to the presence of the sought after and searched-for celebrity images.
"As such, content websites may effectively monetize the content on their websites by securing eyeballs on the sites which translates to ad revenue; this is in distinction to traditional pre-Internet print media who could only monetize content by selling it to end users."
Mavrix seeks $3 million in damages for copyright infringement and an injunction to stop CraveOnline from using its photos in the future.
In a similar case in Oct. 2010, Mavrix sued Fanpop, the operator of a network of online fan clubs, for posting 21 of its photographs showing a bikini-clad Perry on vacation in a bikini. That case was settled for an undisclosed amount.
Litigious-happy Mavrix was also involved in a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling this past August which gave the go-ahead for these sorts of claims to be filed in California courts. The court found that because Mavrix's legal targets focused "on the California-centered celebrity and entertainment industries,” it naturally had a connection with California and thus, the paparazzi shop got permission to bring lawsuits in the state.