D.C. Won’t Resolve Fight Over ‘Rock Stars’ Show

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A rock-stabilization construction company featured on Nat Geo’s “Rock Stars” cannot sue the show’s producers in D.C., a federal judge ruled.
     Check out Courthouse News’ Entertainment Law Digest.
     In a Washington lawsuit, Janod claimed that Echo Entertainment sent the reality show to Nat Geo without first letting Janod review the material or exercise its editorial rights.
     But U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction Monday, citing a contractual stipulation that any dispute between Janod and Echo must be heard in a California federal court.
     “The court therefore finds that it would offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice for Echo, a non-resident defendant, to be haled into a District of Columbia court with respect to a matter brought by a non-resident plaintiff relating to purported injuries that occurred outside of the district,” Sullivan wrote.
     Janod is a construction company incorporated in Vermont and operating out of New York. The company specializes in rock stabilization and remediation, a potentially hazardous field that attracted the eyes of reality television producers.
     Mimicking other dangerous job reality programs, Echo’s “Rock Stars” show depicts rock-remediation technicians working on unstable rock or mountainside surfaces while suspended at great heights above the ground. As part of its production contract with Echo, Janod says it has “editorial control over any content in the series that would portray Janod in a negative light.”
     But after filming began, Janod says Echo refused to let the company review the footage, and shipped the shows off to Washington-based Nat Geo, which was dismissed from Janod’s action months ago.
     Sullivan dismissed the case after Echo, a California-based company, claimed lack of jurisdiction. The judge said that transferring the case to California or any other jurisdiction suggested by Janod “would not be in the interests of justice.”

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