LOS ANGELES (CN) – Fox News broadcast a 6-year-old interview with Michael Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe, claiming the King of Pop’s death trumped the interview’s copyright by elevating the interview into “newsworthy” status, and available for “fair use,” the interviewer claims in Federal Court.
F. Marc Schaffel says he interviewed Rowe in Calabasas, Calif., in 2003 as part of the project “Michael Jackson Interview: The Footage You Were Never Meant to See.” Schaffel’s production company, F. Marc Schaffel Productions, claims ownership of the interview video.
On July 5, 2009, Schaffel claims, Fox aired “substantial portions” of the interview on the show “Geraldo at Large,” without permission.
Schaffel says Fox “rebuffed” his declaration of ownership, claiming the interview was so newsworthy that the fair-use doctrine applied.
But Schaffel claims this stance conflicts with Rupert Murdoch’s “extensive” public criticism of Google’s claim that it can rebroadcast Fox content under the “fair use” argument.
“There’s a doctrine called ‘fair use,’ which we believe to be challenged in courts and would bar it all together,” Murdoch told Sky News Australia, according to the complaint.
“But we are better,” Murdoch added. “If you look at them, most of their stuff is stolen from the newspapers now, and we’ll be suing them for copyright.”
Schaffel demands damages, costs and attorney fees. He is represented by Howard King with King Holmes Paterno.