Judge Declines To Dismiss USTA's Lawsuit Against Filmmakers
A federal judge declined to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the USTA against the filmmakers of a documentary on Venus and Serena Williams for allegedly infringing on U.S. Open copyrighted materials. In a handwritten order filed today, Judge Nelson Roman of the New York Southern District Court said the filmmakers' motion to dismiss the case “is denied without prejudice. The court is in receipt of the pre-motion letters and will schedule a pre-motion conference.” Without prejudice means the motion can be filed again.
The USTA alleges the documentary, which is already airing, took without permission footage of the U.S. Open. The documentary makers, VSW Productions, cite the First Amendment and the fact that some of the material, like Serena’s tirade against a lineswoman, should be covered by the Fair Use Act, which protects footage deemed socially important.