$120k levied on father who live-streamed son’s birth

BirthA California-based father who live-streamed his son’s birth and sued a string of media companies for using the footage has been ordered to pay over $120,000 in attorneys’ fees to four organisations.

This is despite claims from Kali Kanongataa that such a ruling would bankrupt him as a “person of limited means”.

In a ruling handed down recently, Judge Lewis Kaplan ordered $60,000 jointly for ABC and Yahoo and just over $30,000 each for NBC and COED, a college news provider. In May 2016, Kanongataa live-streamed a 45-minute video of his partner giving birth on Facebook—reportedly by accident—which was picked up by several news agencies after going viral.

Kanongataa filed several copyright infringement complaints against news providers ABC, Yahoo, NBC, COED and CBS, the latter of which he settled with in November.

In February 2017, in a ruling handed down at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Kaplan dismissed the claims, stating that the use “fell squarely” within the rules of what was fair.

After Kanongataa did not file an appeal, the parties moved for awards of attorneys’ fees, which were granted.

The judge said despite claims of bankruptcy if such a ruling was delivered, “it appears that Kanongataa obtained additional monies in consequence of settling other cases based on the same episode”.


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