Friday, March 7, 2014

Deadspin removes Dr. Phil footage

Last May, Dr. Phil's production company, Peteski Productions, sued Gawker Media over copyright infringement.  The issue arose after Dr. Phil obtained an exclusive interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man behind the Lennay Kekua catfishing hoax.  The interview spanned two episodes of Dr. Phil, and the first episode ended with a cliffhanger as Ronaiah finally prepared to speak in Lennay's voice for the camera.

Deadspin obtained footage of the second episode before it aired in most of the country, and at 10:29 A.M. they posted a clip of Ronaiah performing Lennay's voice.  Peteski Productions claimed that Deadspin's actions resulted in lower ratings for the episode.  According to Law360:
"Peteski Productions has asked to be awarded any profits Deadspin recouped from publishing its video, statutory damages for willful copyright infringement, pre- and post-judgment interest, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. It also asked the court to issue an injunction requiring Deadspin to remove the video from its website."
I've googled this case a few times since May but never learned anything new.  Today, I checked the Deadspin post in question to see if the footage was still up.  Lo and behold, it was gone!  At the end of the first paragraph there's a note which reads:  "[Update, March 3, 2014: The video has been removed.]"

That looks like a good sign for Dr. Phil!





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