Oscar winner Jared Leto is suing news website TMZ.com over a published video he alleges was stolen.
Leto has filed a copyright lawsuit against the website’s bosses, claiming footage of him taking aim at Taylor Swift’s music is an invasion of privacy.
In the video, Leto and an engineer poked holes in songs on Swift’s 1989 album before the Dallas Buyers Club star says, “I mean, fuck her… I don’t give a fuck about her.”
The video hit the Internet earlier this week (beg07Dec15) and led to a backlash against Leto from angry Swift fans, prompting him to issue an apology, which read: “The truth is I think @taylorswift13 is amazing + an incredible example of what’s possible. If I hurt her or her fans my sincerest apologies.”
Now Leto claims the video featuring his outburst was stolen.
Announcing the legal action in a statement, Leto writes: “Last Sunday, I was alerted that TMZ had acquired personal and private video footage of me in my home and that they were planning to leak it on their site. My team notified TMZ immediately that I fully owned the footage and that their source had absolutely no rights to sell it. They chose to post it anyway.
“Let’s be clear. This was stolen footage. This was an invasion of privacy. And it was both legally and morally wrong. Regardless of who we are, we should all be able to talk freely in the privacy of our own homes without the fear that our unfiltered thoughts or actions will get broadcast to the world. We have the right to privacy and security and when we don’t have protections in place to safeguard those things, we lose the freedom to speak loudly and clearly – right or wrong – about anything and everything we choose to.
“I have chosen to file this lawsuit not because I want to, but in hopes it will encourage more people to stop trafficking in stolen goods, to follow proper legal procedure and so that it may motivate additional consideration for the harm these acts can create, especially when the only intention is to simply further the bottom line for the companies and corporations that commit these acts.”
In a complaint filed in California federal court and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, Leto insists the footage was shot in September (15) by a videographer retained by him. He claims the videographer delivered the footage to TMZ in exchange for a promised payment.
“TMZ requested that Videographer sign a document confirming he had the legal right to deliver the Footage,” the complaint continues. “Videographer refused to sign such an acknowledgement. Prior to any broadcast of the Footage, Plaintiff had advised Defendants that the Footage was stolen, and that Defendants were not authorized to disseminate, display, or publish the Footage on the website TMZ.com or at all.”
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