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What are my options?

Rockville, MD |

I am a TV show producer. I created and registered my public access TV show in the hopes of attracting sponsorship. I hired a hostess to host an episode for me(episode 4). She was paid. I then posted my video online without blocks so that managers could use the link (with my approval) to further along my show. Episode 4 was stolen from that site by this hostess and is now being used to further along her career. I have emailed her with a cease and desist email threatening legal action if she persist. She has ignored my emails and has since change the online heading of my show to now have her name in it's place along with a disclaimer that she isn't the creator, but will stop if notified by the creator of the show. When I did notify her, I was deleted & my work continues to be used & degraded

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    As a general rule, the creator of a tangible medium, e.g., a video, owns the copyright to that video. Therefore, use by another infringes upon the copyright. Assuming you can show the rights in you and show that none were granted to her, you would be entitled to recover damages in the sense of lost profits, i.e., probably money she has made using the video.

    You could seek injunctive relief against her from the court, i.e., a court order to cease and desist until the matter is resolved. Copyright litigation is done in federal court in Baltimore or Greenbelt.

    If you wish to pursue the matter I am happy to discuss with you.

    Best regards,

    Kenneth Sprang
    Cicero, Mehta & Sprang'
    1000 Potomac St., 5th Floor
    Washington, DC 20007

    Admitted in MD, DC

  2. Sounds like the only option is a lawsuit. Speak with a local litigator with copyright experience. Good luck.

    This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice regarding your question and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

  3. This could get expensive. If she will not respond to a lawyer's cease and desist letter, then you will be filing for injunctive relief, plus a complaint for damages if you think she has any assets to go after. Is she in Maryland like you? You should also be contacting the ISP/web hosting service that provides her web page and demand the video be taken down as a violation of your copyright. Be prepared to provide evidence that it is indeed your product and she was just paid talent (did you have her sign legal releases before using her? Please say you did).

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