Anorak News | Gawker Versus Gayheart And Dane: Sex Tape Round Up

Gawker Versus Gayheart And Dane: Sex Tape Round Up

by | 24th, September 2009

5554446ERIC Dane and his pregnant wife Rebecca Gayheart, stars of the dullest non-sex sex tape to hit the internets, are suing Gawker over publishing it on their site.(Cut scenes here.)

Eric Dane and Rebecca Gayheart claims Gawker “maliciously” distributed the Noxzema video and included nude shots of them and former beauty queen Kari Ann Peniche. Ric, Gayheart and Penishe. Who needs porn names, right Mindy McCready?

How much is the injury to their reputations worth? They say $1million.

Their layer, Marty Singer also want the video pulled.

Gawker publisher Nick Denton twitters:

“To quote the great Marty Singer — Eric Dane’s lawyer — if you don’t want a sex tape on the internet, ‘don’t make one!'”

Well, nto so much to quote as to paraphrase. What Singer said:

Q: How do I keep my sex tape off the Internet?
Singer: Don’t make one! But if you must, here are some tips on how to keep it private. The person who records the tape is the copyright owner. So you should be the camera-person and try to own or co-own the copyright because third-party distributors are less likely to touch a sex tape if there is a potential copyright claim. Even if you don’t own the copyright, you also can assert claims for violation of your rights of privacy and publicity, both of which can lead to injunctions against distribution.

Dane is seen holding the camera in a part of the film. Copyright claimed.
The Awl is less certain:

I have read and received letters from Marty Singer’s office. You probably have too! They are often factually incorrect, distorting to actual events, and they create such a tenuous legal bubble of reasoning that one can barely take them seriously… the real sign you’re in legal trouble with a celebrity is if they hire a lawyer who is not Marty Singer…

He’s right about the lack of experience. Any publisher hates receiving lawyer’s letters, but with experience, and money in the bank, comes the confidence to take the lawyer on and turn any press coverage to your advantage.

Matt Haber notes:

As is his wont, Gawker Media owner Nick Denton used the lawsuit as a chance to tout his company’s traffic growth via his Twitter feed.

As David Carr says:

Things are getting a little rugged out there on the frontiers of digital journalism. Marty Singer, the go-to guy for star-crossed stars, usually takes on big M.S.M. targets when he or his clients feel they have been oppressed by the media, so perhaps it is a sign of arrival for Gawker.

So there’ money in the infamy?

The Huffington Post says:

Eric Dane and wife Rebecca Gayheart are suing the pants off the parent company of a blog that posted their nude tape last month.

Well, a million for Gawker is not the pants, more the turn-ups. But was it worth it? Denton answers:

“Well, obviously we paid our contributor (and from the traffic, you can suppose quite handsomely!)”

Peter Kafka follows up:

I followed up with Denton, via IM, and he wasn’t much more forthcoming than that. But he did confirm that his blog network gave the money to Mark Ebner, who describes himself as an “award winning investigative journalist” who “has repeatedly positioned himself in harm’s way”. Ebner also runs the gossip site Hollywood Interrupted.

Denton wouldn’t say how much he paid Ebner for the video, and I haven’t been able to reach Ebner himself. But I have a hunch that Ebner hasn’t received as much as, say, a Conde Nast freelancer can get for a feature piece.

The math: In the old days (last year) Denton was paying $7.50 for every 1,000 views, but he has likely reduced that rate as Gawker’s traffic has grown. Even if he kept that rate the same, Ebner would be getting $22,500 for the 3 million views the clip has generated too date. That’s nice money, but not life-changing.

Cheque book journalism rules on the web. So much for the new media.

As for Dane and Gayheart, Us magazine delivers this headline:

Grey’s Costar: Eric Dane Thinking Like a “Prospective Dad”

An, no, there’s no video of the insemination…

Posted: 24th, September 2009 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts Comment | TrackBack | Permalink