DETROIT, Oct. 16 LAWFUEL – Legal News Network — In response to Fredric Goldman’s motion seeking O.J. Simpson’s right of publicity, the owner of 70 hours of candid O.J. Simpson video filed a brief requesting to have his rights in the tapes secured.
Beginning in 2001, Norman Pardo and Simpson traveled together for years promoting nightclub parties and other events. According to Pardo, “The deal was simple, O.J. appears and I video tape … everything.” Pardo’s release of three minutes of the footage on http://judgeoj.com garnered national media attention and over 4 million downloads.
In response, the Goldman family filed an extraordinary motion to
acquire Simpson’s right of publicity which, if successful, would place the Goldmans in charge of Simpson’s name and likeness. Pardo believes that the Goldmans are using this unprecedented legal maneuver in an attempt to obtain the rights to the tapes.
Indeed, as stated by Goldman’s attorney, Jonathan Polak, “If we are
awarded the relief sought in the motion, any commercial sale of Mr. Pardo’s tapes will be looked into as potentially actionable violations of Simpson’s right of publicity.”
According to Marc Beginin, Pardo’s attorney, “My client offered to
trade the O.J. tapes for the Goldman’s share of the civil judgment against
Simpson, but now it appears that the Goldmans would rather obtain the tapes via court order.”
Pardo is currently in negotiations with various video-on-demand
services to distribute the footage. “At the end of the day,” according to
Pardo, “the tapes may just go to the highest bidder.”
Media estimates value Pardo’s tapes in excess of $4 million, but based
on sheer volume they could be worth in the tens of millions. “The outcome
of the litigation is of obvious significance to my client,” adds Beginin.
Pardo’s brief, via his company Video Clips, Inc., openly questions
whether the state court has jurisdiction to even entertain Goldman’s
motion. According to Beginin, “Our position is that Goldman’s claim is
pre-empted by federal copyright law. Additionally, because the rights to
the tapes were granted years ago, we are requesting the court to declare
the relief sought by the Goldmans does not include my client’s footage.”
A hearing on the matter is scheduled this Tuesday in Santa Monica.