March 14, 2011 11:34am PT by Eriq Gardner
Michael Moore Settles 'Sicko' Lawsuit (Exclusive)
Michael Moore has settled a lawsuit involving footage used in his Academy Award-nominated documentary, Sicko.
In 2006, Moore was gearing up to make a film about the health care system in the U.S. and solicited stories from his fans. In response, a Washington man named Ken Aronson's friend sent Moore a tape about how his shoulder injury was treated in a British hospital, which Moore then used in Sicko to compare the U.S. healthcare system with Britain's.
Last April, Aronson sued Moore's production company, Dog Eat Dog Films, alleging that Moore had used 71 seconds of his personal video without permission. Aronson claimed that Dog Eat Dog had violated his copyright and infringed his publicity and privacy rights by using the video clip and his image.
In September, a federal judge allowed Aronson's copyright claims to move forward but granted Moore's motion to strike Aronson's claims of publicity and privacy violations. The judge found that Moore was expressing his First Amendment right to speak about a topic of public interest like healthcare. Aronson was ordered to pay Moore $10,000 plus legal fees. Aronson appealed.
Last week, the parties reached a resolution. An attorney for Dog Eat Dog confirms to us that the matter has been now settled. Details of the agreement are not known.