Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lawsuit accuses Fox News of copyright infringement; Yahoo News, 1/8/09

Anthony McCartney, Yahoo News; Lawsuit accuses Fox News of copyright infringement:

"A former adviser to Michael Jackson sued Fox News on Thursday for copyright infringement, claiming the cable channel aired portions of an interview with the singer's ex-wife without proper payment or permission.

The lawsuit in federal court by producer F. Marc Schaffel seeks damages from Fox News for airing portions of the 2003 interview with Debbie Rowe after Jackson's death in June. The filing states the interview made up a significant amount of Geraldo Rivera's July 5 show.

Schaffel, who once sued Jackson and won a judgment against him, owns the copyright to the Rowe interview. Portions of the interview were aired on the Fox network in 2003 as part of a special intended to balance out a damaging interview aired earlier that year.

A spokesman for Fox News, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., said the channel does not comment on pending litigation. The lawsuit states Fox News has claimed a "fair use" right to air the footage as part of news programming.

The filing chides Murdoch, who has threatened to sue the British Broadcasting Corp. and others for copyright infringement because he claims they are stealing content from his company's newspapers.

"Fox sanctimoniously operates unencumbered by the very copyright restrictions it seeks to impose on its competitors," the lawsuit states."

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