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Former The Hills reality television star Lauren Conrad, now known for her lifestyle blog, is being sued for her use of two surfing dog photos on her website. Given that the site is a commercial enterprise, and promotes Conrad's brand, the plaintiff, Incredible Features, Inc. expressed wonder in its complaint that the blogger did not pay for the content.
But they did it with humor, according to TMZ, which reports that the court filing is "a pretty entertaining read." So let's see what Incredible Features has to say about Conrad's alleged failure to pay for the images of the surfing dogs that it owns.
"In the dog eat dog world of online content ... Lauren Conrad, a sophisticated website operator, is cognizant of the value of high-quality photography," the plaintiff writes. Conrad apparently appropriated the sporty pup photos for a 2014 blog post.
The problem with the use of the images, the company said, is that Conrad is not just any blogger. Her website is a commercial endeavor. She sells products and promotes brands with which she is affiliated.
Although the site might be modestly referred to as a blog, it can hardly be called a purely creative or artistic endeavor but is a business. The plaintiff writes that Conrad's blog is a "commercial enterprise through which Conrad shills her Kohl's clothing line amongst other things."
Lauren Conrad has not yet responded to the lawsuit, perhaps because she's been enjoying her birthday getaway in Mexico, a picture of which she posted online of course. Considered a designer, the just-turned-30-year-old made a name for herself on reality television; The Hills was a show about her efforts to break into fashion design in LA.
The designer's website, however, is more like a prim girls' guide to being proper from some era past. The site covers all the important topics that preoccupy young ladies -- crafts, food, fashion, fitness, and even books (by and about other young women).
As for the law, Conrad does not seem too concerned about copyright violations. She may not be able to ignore the intellectual property claims in the surfing pup suit that has been filed against her. But her focus up until this point has been on what she calls "ladylike laws" such as "what to wear when meeting the parents" or "how to be the best host to your house guests."
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