1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Casting legal roles in amateur film

Last year Gawker Media’s blog network uploaded a homemade video of actor couple Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart in a threesome with a friend. Dane and Gayheart sued for copyright infringement and a settlement has now been reached. According to Reuters: ‘Dane, a “Grey’s Anatomy” co-star, held the camera for a portion of the shoot, giving him a partial copyright in the footage. (The couple’s friend, Kari Ann Peniche, also shot footage, but her rights were said to have been purchased by Dane and Gayheart.)’

Under UK copyright law the owner of copyright in a film is the producer and principal director – a film is treated as a work of joint authorship unless the producer and the principal director are the same person. In this case would Dane and Peniche both be the producer and principal director? Or perhaps Gayheart might be one of the legal dramatis personae whether she held the camera or not?

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