‘Cosby Show’ Producer Sues BBC Over Unauthorized Clips In Bill Cosby Film

Carsey-Werner Company, the producer of The Cosby Show,€ has filed a lawsuit against BBC for allegedly using too much-copyrighted material in a documentary titled €œBill Cosby: Fall of an American Icon.

The lawsuit was launched in California federal court Friday against BBC and Sugar Films Limited, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

According to the complaint, Fall €œincluded 8 audiovisual clips (one of which appears 3 times) and 2 music cues from The Cosby Show. Carsey-Werner€™s permission for such use of the Clips and the Cues was neither sought nor given. The total cumulative running time of the Infringed Works is 234 seconds, which represents 6.5% of the total running time of Fall.”

€œFall  € was first broadcast last June, around the time that star Bill Cosby stood trial for allegedly raping Andrea Constand in 2004. The documentary was then made available online.

Carsey-Werner alleges defendants willfully infringed copyrights and points to how the clips were shown in Fall over a caption reading €œThe Cosby Show – Carsey-Werner Company/Bill Cosby.

The plaintiff also says the day that “Fall” was broadcast, it sent a warning to BBC that the documentary shouldn’t be rebroadcast, which it later was.

BBC and Sugar Films €œsought to profit directly from the use of the copyrighted material without having to pay a license fee to Carsey-Werner by using the inherent entertainment value of The Cosby Show to entertain viewers,” alleges the complaint being handled by attorney Alexander Rufus-Isaacs.

“If they had wanted to draw The Cosby Show to viewers’ attention simply in order to create a reference point, Defendants could have done so without using copyrighted material. Instead, they deliberately used the Clips on 10 separate occasions, no doubt because they knew that showing such a large number of clips from this famous show would appeal to viewers. The Cues further seek to capitalize on The Cosby Show’s popularity.”

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