Los Angeles – Blog network Gawker Media has settled a $1
million copyright infringement lawsuit filed by "Grey’s Anatomy"
co-star Eric Dane and actress Rebecca Gayheart over the "McSteamy"
sex tape featuring the pair and a friend that the company published, according
to The Hollywood Reporter. Under the terms, Gawker has removed the video in
question, and paid a "low-six figures" settlement, sources told THR.
notes the novel use of copyright infringement as a means to compel websites to
remove a sex tape, but the court said statutory damages of $150,000 were not
available since the video wasn’t registered with the Copyright Office until
after it was posted by Gawker.
For its part, Gawker had made a "fair
use" claim to the video.
"Although we are confident that our use of
the video on Gawker was protected fair use, because the posts already had been
available to our readers for nearly a year, and because we already had won an
important decision from the court striking large parts of the plaintiffs’
damages claims, we agreed to remove the posts as part of a global settlement to
avoid the burden of further litigation," Gawker COO Gaby Darbyshire told
Private mediation led to the settlement which was filed with the court