PETA May Have Misused Video Images

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PETA May Have Misused Video Images

 PETA is no stranger to using provocative imagery in videos that it produces to advance its message.  While this helps PETA get headlines, it has opened them up to potential litigation.

The problem for PETA stems from the group’s liberal use of images from an early 1980s documentary on animal exploitation.  That movie, “The Animals Film” was narrated by actress Julie Christie.

While the movie was designed to raise awareness about animal issues, the company that owns the rights to the movie is not pleased with PETA’s use of those images.  This is especially since PETA never payed for a license to use them.

The rights holder, Beyond the Frame, Ltd. has sent a letter to PETA that included a draft lawsuit to be filed in the United Kingdom.  It specifically referred to several YouTube videos promoted by PETA as well as a 2007 HBO documentary that used footage from “The Animals Film.”

The letter stated,

"Our client would have been very reluctant to grant a license to your client/PETA Inc given Mr. Schonfeld's (the director) well-publicized views about PETA and its sexualized efforts to attract publicity. In the circumstances, had it been prepared to grant a license, it would have charged a substantial premium."

PETA's offer of $12,800 was rejected.  The owners of the movie rights are asking for approximately $750,000.

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