David J. Porter was interviewed by reporter Tamara Ikenberg for an article, "Yes, even Paris needs privacy," that appeared in the Courier-Journal (Kentucky) on February 10, 2007. Porter is a shareholder with Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Litigation Section and has represented clients in the fields of civil rights, copyright, and First Amendment and media law.
The article discussed a recent complaint filed by Paris Hilton in Federal Court against the owner of the web site parisexposed.com, which has since shut down but was a subscription-based site displaying the heiress's personal poems, medical records, photographs, videos and more. The article noted that when Hilton failed to pay the rent to a storage facility where the personal items were stored, and the contents were sold at auction to the Haniss family. They subsequently sold them for a reported $10 million to Bardia Persa, who launched the web site.
Porter told Ikenberg, "The people who bought the items at a legal foreclosure auction have the right to sell them, to keep them — to basically dispose of them as they wish. They can resell them to a third party as they did. That's lawful." He added, however, "Even though the Hanisses could sell that property to Persa, Persa couldn't necessarily put it up on the web site without violating some of Paris' rights."
According to Porter, there are several rights at issue in the case. "A newspaper can publish photographs because it's newsworthy and because we have the First Amendment and it relates to the public interest, but if a guy puts up her stuff on a web site and says 'Come see photos and videos of Paris Hilton, and then pay $39.97 to access my web site,' which is what he did, then, arguably, he's violating her right of publicity."