Gawker limits liability in 'McSteamy' threesome case

« Record labels sue Vimeo, claim social network encourages infringement | Main | Bergstein's Capitol sues to recover $20 million loss on 'Black Water Transit' »

Gawker limits liability in 'McSteamy' threesome case

Tue Dec 15, 2009 @ 12:33AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Mcsteamy Gawker caused a mini-sensation three months ago by posting video of a three-way naked romp involving "Grey's Anatomy" star Eric Dane, wife/actress Rebecca Gayheart and former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche.

A threesome is hot enough. A threesome with lawyers is downright dirty.The stars of the video sued for copyright infringement

On Monday, Gawker took a big step toward limiting its liability in the "McSteamy" scandal when California District Court Judge George Wu ruled in favor of the website on some issues raised in its motion to strike. Most importantly, the judge ruled that Dane and Gayheart can't recover statutory damages or attorney's fees because they registered the tape with the U.S. Copyright Office after the alleged infringement.

The ruling doesn't foreclose the possibility that the gossip website will be enjoined from distributing the sex tape (which is still available on the site) or ordered to pay actual damages. (How Dane and Gayheart prove actual damages is something we'll have to investigate at a later date.) For now, the ruling represents a legal victory for Gawker and its lawyer, Alonzo Wickers at LA's Davis Wright Tremaine.

Just last week, in response to the motion to strike, Dane and Gayheart's lawyers at Marty Singer's firm had criticized their counterparts for a "premature motion" that "serves little purpose but to waste the parties' time and money..."

Image via

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Gawker limits liability in 'McSteamy' threesome case:

The Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter
Contact: Patrice Atiee at 323.525.2014 or [email protected]

The Hollywood Reporter is Your Complete Film Resource

The columnists and bloggers who write for The Hollywood Reporter have their collective finger on the pulse of the boxoffice. Martin Grove and the other THR columnists deliver their thoughts on the film industry in an uncompromised style. Subscribe to THR today and get the latest views from these film experts and get the latest movie reviews as well.