Last week, Eddie Van Halen, a founding member of US-rock band Van Halen filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division against a videographer for copyright infringement after he released rehearsal footage of Van Halen without consent. The suit also includes other charges such as cybersquatting, violation of the right of publicity and breach of contract.
According to the lawsuit, in 2006, Andrew Bennett and others were invited for a film rehearsal session of Eddie Van Halen with the intention of producing a DVD or video project. The plaintiff was unhappy because of the materials and none of it was used commercially.
Andrew Bennett threatened to release the subject materials claiming that he wasn’t paid. In 2015 both parties signed a settlement agreement having the defendant to provide ELVH with all of the video footage and audio footage featuring Eddie Van Halen and assign all copyright to the IP management company.
“The settlement and release required Defendant to provide to ELVH and Mr. Van Halen all the video footage and audio files that in any way deals with, pertains to, or covers Mr. Van Halen, including, without limitation, the Subject Material, and to transfer the copyrights therein to ELVH,” the compaint read
According to the suit, the Defendant is again threatening to release the Subject Material in full, and has already released portions of the Subject Material. From a date uncertain until on or around January 22, 2018, Defendant used the website located at the domain name 5150vault.com to offer the Subject Material under the title, “THE 5150 VAULT.” A true and correct print-out of this website as of January 18, 2018 was attached as exhibit to the case. ubt that the “preview” that appears on this website is taken from the Subject Material that Defendant swore he no longer possessed and the copyright in which is owned by ELVH.
“Defendant’s cybersquatting, Defendant’s violation of California statutes and common law for misappropriating Mr. Van Halen’s rights of publicity, and breach of contract. As a result of Defendant’s ongoing distribution of this video and other activities in this judicial district, Plaintiffs are entitled to their damages, Defendant’s profits, statutory damages, punitive damages, an injunction, impoundment and destruction of infringing copies, and Plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees and costs incurred in this suit,”…the complaint stated
Van Halen is seeking damages and injunctive relief against Bennett. The case is currently pending.
Case Information: E.L.V.H., Inc., a California corporation; and Edward Van Halen vs. Andrew Bennett
Court: UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA, WESTERN DIVISION
Case No: 2:18-cv-00710