A US sex publisher which fought a long copyright battle with Google has sued the Tumblr social networking site claiming "rampant" illegal use of its photographs, court documents showed.
The suit by Perfect 10 was filed Friday in US District Court and claims copyright infringement from "rampant and unremedied uploading, display and distribution" of the adult site's images of nude or scantily clad women.
Perfect 10, a California firm which published a magazine of the same name before moving to the Internet, is seeking at least $5 million in damages, and a halt to the use of its images.
It said in the lawsuit that its magazine "was forced to cease publication... because of widespread and rampant infringement of its copyrighted photographs on the Internet."
The complaint says Tumblr allows its user to post and "reblog" content from Perfect 10, and said users can search for copyrighted pictures of specific models.
"Tumblr has actual knowledge that specific infringing copies of Perfect 10 copyrighted works are available to its subscribers from Tumblr servers and that Perfect 10 has not authorized its copyrighted works to be uploaded to, displayed on, or distributed by Tumblr," the suit said.
A spokeswoman for Tumblr declined to comment on the suit.
The lawsuit comes after the US Supreme Court refused in March to hear Perfect 10's appeal of its case against Google.
The long-running case had argued that Google improperly provided links and copyright thumbnail images of Perfect 10 models. Perfect 10 won a partial victory when a lower court said Google was improperly using thumbnails, but that was overturned by an appellate court.
Tumblr is a fast-growing online service for sharing pictures, videos, written musings and other digital snippets.
© 2012 AFP