Friday, October 23, 2009

McSteamy Vid Lawsuit? It’s a Copyright Beef; New York Times, 9/25/09

David Carr, New York Times; McSteamy Vid Lawsuit? It’s a Copyright Beef:

"As we wrote about on Thursday, Eric Dane, an actor from “Grey’s Anatomy” - aka “Dr. McSteamy” - and his wife Rebecca Gayheart had their attorney Marty Singer file a $1 million suit against Gawker Media for its role in publishing a video of them romping in the altogether. The little imps at Gawker, not ones to let a lawsuit cramp their style, posted the complaint in its entirety. And as it turns out, the actors are not alleging libel, slander or invasion of privacy as a primary cause of the action, but rather that Gawker violated their copyright on the salacious video. The complaint states that “Plaintiffs timely (sic) registered with the United States Copyright Office their rights as authors and owners of the video. The copyright registration number is PAu 3-404-881.”

In a copyright the pair registered two days after the video went public — you can see it here at The Smoking Gun — the work is entitled “ED-RG-KAP Video by ED & RG.” While that title may be lack in lyricism, it does contain all the relevant initials. In the application claiming dominion over the 12-minute film, which brings to mind the Mumblecore movement at its edgiest, Mr. Dane and Ms. Gayheart share credits for direction and cinematography. No costume credits are listed for reasons that are probably obvious.

By disseminating the tape, Gawker allegedly violated the plaintiff’s exclusive rights to “PAu 3-404-881″ aka “ED-RG-KAP Video by ED & RG.” hearafter and forthwith known as the McSteamy video."

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