Saturday, September 30, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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One Claim Survives In Film |Of Orca Attack At Sea World

MANHATTAN (CN) - A federal judge granted dismissal of state law claims - but not Copyright Act claims - that Jonathan Smith filed against NBC Universal, regarding a videotape of Smith being attacked by orcas during a performance at Sea World.

Judge Schira Scheindlin ruled that co-defendants Universal Television Networks and MG Perin Inc. have stipulated that they violated Smith's copyright to the video.

Smith was attacked by killer whales at the San Diego amusement park on March 4, 1987. A member of the audience, Chiang-Shek, filmed the attack, then visited Smith in the hospital and assigned the copyright of the 5-minute video to him.

Smith got $800 by licensing two broadcasts of excerpts from the video. This claim involves other, unlicensed rebroadcasts.

Judge Scheindlin granted defendants' requests to dismiss all claims against NBC Universal and all state law claims against all defendants. See ruling.

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