Deadspin gave away a show episode’s ending
One of the producers of the â€œDr. Philâ€ TV show has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against online media company Gawker Media, basically claiming Gawker’s Deadspin blog acted as a spoiler.
Peteski Productions claims that Gawkerâ€™s sports blog Deadspin infringed Peteskiâ€™s copyright by airing parts of Dr. Philâ€™s interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, the man at the center of the scandal that humiliated Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o earlier this year.
Peteski, based in Texas, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The complaint, filedÂ on Tuesday, says that Deadspin hatched â€œa pre-meditated plan to steal Peteskiâ€™s copyrighted Cheap Converse Shoes material .â€
Because Deadspin aired parts of the interview ahead of schedule, the suit alleges, the show attracted fewer viewers than it otherwise would have.
Interview came after Teâ€™o â€œhoaxâ€
The interview was explosive in and of itself. Tuiasosopo was the man who pretended to be Lennay Kekua, Teâ€™oâ€™s â€œgirlfriend.â€ Kekua, who had supposedly died in September 2012, was often cited as a tragic part of Teâ€™oâ€™s personal background, and one that motivated him to throw all his effort into playing football.
Ironically, it was Deadspin that broke the news that Kekua didnâ€™t actually exist, and was instead an elaborate â€œhoaxâ€ perpetuated by Tuiasosopo. TheÂ , published on January 16, 2013, was entitled â€œManti Teâ€™oâ€™s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax.â€
After Deadspin discovered that Kekua never existed, Teâ€™o said that he had â€œdeveloped an emotional relationship with a woman I met online.â€
Gave away the ending
The interview with Tuiasosopo was aired in two sections — one on January 31, 2013, and the next onÂ February 1. TheÂ January 31Â show ended with a suggestion that Tuiasosopo might, on the following show, use the same voice that he used when he pretended to be Kekua. The cliffhanger was ruined, the suit alleges, by the fact that Deadspin had already posted the footage on its site.
â€œAlthough the second show was expected to exceed the ratings number of the first show, in fact, the ratings declined substantially because the result of the ‘cliffhanger’ was no longer in doubt. It had been misappropriated by Deadspin,â€ the complaint alleges.
â€œGawker deliberately set out to get ‘the jump’ on the rest of the country and ‘scoop’ Dr. Phil with his own content. They did not earn that right, they stole it.â€
Peteski is seeking an injunction preventing Gawker from using additional copyrighted material from the â€œDr. Philâ€ show, as well as damages.
(originally published atÂ )