Attorneys for Bobby Brown and the estate of his daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown have filed suit over unauthorized use of of video footage.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court’s New York southern district, alleges that Showtime, the BBC and several other defendants violated their rights by improperly using footage from the production of the 2005 reality series “Being Bobby Brown.”
The lawsuit, which stems from unauthorized use of footage from ‘Being Bobby Brown’ in the documentary “Whitney: Can I Be Me,” is reportedly seeking $2 million in damages from defendants Passion Pictures, Tracey Baker-Simmons, Wanda Shelley, B2 Entertainment and Simmons Shelley Entertainment, as well as Showtime and the BBC.
“The film contains footage that Brown and BKB has never consented to have released. Brown and BKB appear in the film for a substantial period of time, in excess of thirty (30) minutes. The footage was actually recorded prior to the divorce in 2007 between Brown and Houston. Brown never signed or executed a release for the airing of the material that appears in the film. The footage of Brown is approximately fifteen (15) years old.”
According to Variety, the complaint seeks a permanent injunction on top of monetary damages and claims that the film amounts to a misappropriation of publicity rights as well as a violation of the Lanham Act.
Brown is also reportedly pursuing a separate breach-of-contract claim against B2 Entertainment, a dissolved company that had a deal with Brown’s company for the Bravo reality series, Being Bobby Brown.
The lawsuit attaches a 2015 letter from producer Baker-Simmons to Brown’s reps, referencing “the co-production agreement which outlines the talent fee for Bobby for the ‘Being Bobby Brown’ series,” the inference being that Brown signed away his rights to the footage under a contract at that time.
According to the suit, “As B2 (the company that helped create the Bravo series) was dissolved before 2009, SSE, Shelley or Simmons had no rights to the ‘Being Bobby Brown’ footage and had no rights to license or assign the footage to the other Defendants.”