Good news for naked and stoned celebrity couples everywhere! There now exists a legal precedent that promises to keep images of your drug-fuelled, look-mom-I'm-in-a-hot-tub threesomes off the Internet.
And for that thanks should be given to the legal team representing Rebecca Gayheart and Eric Dane, the now-parents and former DIY porn stars responsible for producing the McSteamy sex tape. Or non-sex tape, as all it really featured were three naked, attractive people, stoned out of their minds, stumbling around their house and splish-splasing in the bath. Lawsuit For McSteamy And Wife's Threesome Video?
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According to sources, Gawker Media has agreed to pay the couple a settlement valued in the low-six figures for infringing on Eric Dane's copyright, star and cameraman of the tape in question.
As explained by MSNBC, this represents a somewhat novel legal theory in cases involving sex tapes:
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.)
Gawker initially defied demands that the video be removed, citing "fair use" under copyright law. As the litigation proceeded, the video was viewed more than 4 million times.
In December, the couple's case took a hit when U.S. District Judge George Wu said Dane and Gayheart could not recover statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringement because they registered the tape with the Copyright Office days after Gawker posted it. Proving damages became tougher but the couple still argued they were entitled to Gawker's profits from posting the video.
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The two sides then agreed to a private mediation, which facilitated a settlement that was filed with the court last week. [Source: MSNBC]
Photo via FamePictures. Scoop via MSNBC.