Erin Andrews Trying To Takedown Nude Images Using Copyright She 'Bought'

from the handing-over-the-copyright dept

Someone who prefers to remain anonymous sent over the news that famed ESPN sports commentator Erin Andrews' lawyers have threatened the website TheDirty.com for posting still images from the surreptitiously shot video of Andrews naked in her hotel room. As you may recall, last year, a video that was secretly filmed of Andrews via some sort of spy camera made it to the internet. As we noted at the time, while it was incredibly illegal to create the video, it's almost certainly not illegal to watch it -- though, it does make you kind of a creep and a jerk. But... is it illegal to show the video... or still images from the video? There's probably a publicity rights claim that Andrews could use to stop such things, but in the latest threat (which TMZ got its hands on), Andrews' lawyer appears to be threatening a copyright claim, stating (among other things), "the copyright of these images belong exclusively to Ms. Andrews."

That seemed a bit odd, and the submitter suggested this was a misuse of a copyright claim. As horrible as the video is, the copyright would belong to the miscreant creep who took the video -- who's now serving 30 months in jail. But, since the guy was caught, tried and sentenced to jail... it made me wonder if maybe, somehow, as a part of that, Andrews was given the copyright. And... indeed, according to one report when the guy was sentenced, it's stated that "she paid Barrett a nominal fee to gain copyright ownership of her nude videos," and it notes (as has happened) that she planned to use the copyright to try to pull the videos and images offline. Of course, apparently the site in question didn't give in and simply reposted the images after they got the threat letter, so the next question is whether or not she'll actually sue the site.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    The Infamous Joe (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 10:22am

    Awesome.

    I can see it now: "Eliminate Fair Use, because you wouldn't want people on the internet to see you naked."

     

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      :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 10:34am

      Re: Awesome.

      Pish! Smarter woman would've used the free press coverage to lever herself up to "truly famous".

      Wait, revise that: more cunning woman... Paris Hilton pulled it off her intellect is questionable.

       

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        Eponymous Coward, AKA Doug (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 10:38am

        Re: Re: Awesome.

        She tried, and managed to swing a stint on Dancing With the Stars. Granted, that show is severely lacking in the 'Stars' department, but I doubt she would've gotten the call if she hadn't been plastered all over the news because of this video.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 10:31am

    I agree that what happened to Andrews is disgusting...she is just wasting energy at this point. She will never be able to remove the video from the internet. It is impossible. She might as well focus on getting past it instead of wasting time and energy fighting a lost cause.

     

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      Eponymous Coward, AKA Doug (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      I'll agree that it's a very unsavory situation, but I doubt very much that she, or her publicity team, truly want to move past it or forget it, at least not completely. I think they wan to get just far enough past it that no one can freely access the video or pics, but still keep it close enough to improve her name recognition.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 10:53am

    Improve her name recognition? Tres cynical.

    She was a victim of a crime, I can totally understand wanting to squelch all instances of the result of that crime where she can. Were it you, or your wife, or your kids that had been victimized in this way, I'd imagine you'd feel the same.

    It's interesting/disturbing that she'd have to purchase the rights to the product of a criminal act, however. Aren't there laws against criminals being able to profit from the crimes for which they've been convicted?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 10:54am

      Re:

      Oops, responding to AKA Doug up there.

       

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re:

        Sometimes cynicism is invited even if people are acting from the best of intentions.

        Yes, she's the victim of a crime and, yes, if it were my daughter or partner I'd be furious but there does come a time where one needs to understand that once these things are out there on the Internet, they're out there.

        The site in question's morality is also in serious question but that doesn't make it wise to send threatening letters or head off to court where it all gets washed over again in public.

        Hence, the striesand effect.

        There are so many "celebrity" nudes out there that no one really cares any more. I certainly didn't and won't waste my time googling for her just to see the silly things.

        (I can create much better, sexier ones in programs like Poser, actually.)

        It's really long past time she dropped it and waited for it to go on the scrap pile it belongs on.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 12:28pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well, the Streisand Effect isn't really the issue here. She'd be a fool to think she could wipe the images off of the net, it's simply not possible, and I wonder if that's the actual aim here. Really, any time she does anything further that garners public attention could bring it all back into momentary interest.

          But she could go after any distributors of the video, since it's product and evidence of a crime, and use copyright law to her advantage. Especially if it's turning a buck for a site.

           

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            TtfnJohn (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 1:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Thing is, though, that "celebrity" nudes have a short shelf life if they're just left alone to die a natural death.

            You're right she could go after the distributors of the video and pictures if anyone is actually sending out DVD or CD copies. It just strikes me as a massive waste of time and her money given that they're very unlikely to pay any judgment against them. Then pop up on a server in the Seychelles, for example.

            For now, though, this is a (probably) well intentioned move gone badly wrong as these sorts of things too often do.

            Then again, it could be for the publicity as well.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 2:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Ugh. I'm not in total disagreement with you, but the 'lie back and take it' thing doesn't sit well.

              I can't call her a 'celebrity nude'. She's a crime victim. If she wants to bash for cash on these sites, I won't say I don't wish her luck. :)

               

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 10:55am

    ya wasting time is right

    just google her name its everywhere LOL

     

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    SUNWARD (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 10:58am

    yes sue and win

    she owns the copyrights (according to the article) and can sue for damages. Also for breach of privacy. And benefiting from the proceeds of a crime. Why wouldn't she sue?

    The images will still be somewhere on the internet, but harder to find.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 11:00am

    Streisand Effect once again!

     

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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 11:02am

    i had forgotten all about this (and her) until i just read this.

    welcome to the streisand effect lady. (of course, its completely plausible that getting her name back out in the public was the intended effect to begin with).

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      ha I never heard of this and now interested. But I don't want Mike to think I'm a jerk so I'll refrain :(

       

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    lolcat, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 11:25am

    mmm

    Having read this article, it was only 30 seconds later I was watching said video.. She will never be able to remove this video from the internet...

     

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    Kate Ebneter, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Why put "bought" in quotes in the headline? She did buy the copyright.

     

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    jfgilbert (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    Not completely useless

    One thing it does is let everybody know that the sites that still show pictures or video clips of her are indeed trash. So, she probably knows that she cannot erase all copies from the net, but at least she can induce all self respecting publishers to avoid it, and tag all who publish it anyway as the douche bags that they are.

     

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      crade (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 1:38pm

      Re: Not completely useless

      Umm.. because people didn't know that sites that show illegally taken spy videos of nude women are "indeed trash" already?

       

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        crade (profile), Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 1:40pm

        Re: Re: Not completely useless

        Because now all the super classy porn sites will refuse to show it because "she has the copyright" rather than because of any of the actual moral issues involved?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 3rd, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    She is blond isn't she?

     

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    Rekrul, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:54pm

    I was a boring video anyway...

     

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