DALLAS, Jan. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- TV Host and funnyman Steve Harvey emerged from the courtroom victorious after a Dallas jury ruled that he never agreed to turn over more than 120 hours of his comedic material to Dallas videographer Joseph Cooper or to allow the videographer to use Harvey's face, name and likeness to market Harvey's material. The jury's verdict puts an end to a saga that has plagued Harvey for over 20 years and relieves him of having to pay $20 million in damages sought by the Dallas videographer after Harvey instructed his lawyers to shut down the planned worldwide distribution of recorded footage that Harvey contended still belonged to him.
"With this verdict, I can now rest at night knowing that I have been declared the legal owner of that which I created," said Harvey. "I have been writing material for over 40 years, have worked hard on my brand and image and will continue to protect my intellectual property rights. I hope the verdict shows all hardworking artists that they should fight to own their intellectual property rights, no matter how long it takes. The creator of the material should control what goes out and when."
According to Aubrey "Nick" Pittman, Harvey's lead trial counsel, the jury heard powerful and emotional testimony of Harvey's life story, including years when he was homeless and penniless, but still determined to make it as an entertainer. Pittman was joined at trial by co-counsel Wendle Van Smith and Ashlei Gradney. While on the stand, Harvey took the jury through his entire career, beginning in 1985 with Harvey's first performance as a stand-up throughout his current run as host of a nationally acclaimed radio show and TV shows Family Feud, The Steve Harvey Show, Little Big Shots, and an upcoming ABC production, Funderdome. "In the end, the jury heard Mr. Harvey describe the work ethic he inherited from his parents, the never-ending effort he puts into his craft, the importance of protecting his image and the value of an artist's intellectual property rights," said Pittman. The Dallas videographer was ordered to turn over all of Harvey's materials to his attorneys within 3 business days. "With Harvey's heartfelt testimony and facts demonstrating that he did not release his rights in 1993 and did not consent to anyone else exploiting his rights, the jury felt it was the right thing to do to rule in Harvey's favor," said Smith. Harvey received the good news of the jury's verdict just hours before he had to jet off to Manilla, Philippines to serve as host of the Miss Universe Competition for the second consecutive year.
About The Pittman Law Firm:
The Pittman Law Firm, P.C. is a full-service law firm whose practice includes presenting high-profile entertainers, teams, sports figures, and other individuals in high stakes litigation.
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SOURCE The Pittman Law Firm