Netflix Quietly Settles Its Fyre Festival Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

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Court documents filed yesterday reveal that Netflix has reached a settlement to end a lingering copyright dispute.

The lawsuit alleged that the Fyre Festival documentary used video footage without permission.

Clarissa Cardenas — who filmed the footage — sued Netflix and producer Jerry Media in February.  Cardenas alleged the documentary used her Fyre Festival footage without seeking any permission.

A settlement appears to have been reached last month and yesterday, Cardenas voluntarily withdrew the lawsuit.

Court papers on the withdrawal did not offer any details of the agreement.  Neither attorneys for Netflix nor Cardenas returned requests for comment.

The lawsuit was also settled quietly out of court, despite being filed by a noted copyright troll.

Apparently, Cardenas’ lawsuit did not specify which pieces in the Netflix documentary were hers.  The complaint alleges that “Cardenas took a video of the Fyre Festival” and that the “defendants ran the video in the film.”  The filing included a blurry still of the video, which appeared to have been shot on a smartphone.

When the case was filed in February, many people took note of the lawyer.  Richard Liebowitz is a New York attorney who has been called a “copyright troll” by at least one federal judge. He was hit with a new round of sanctions last week.

The failed Fyre Festival was a planned “luxury music festival” in the Bahamas by Billy McFarland.

McFarland was convicted of fraud over his promotion of the Fyre Festival, which bordered on the pathological and resulted in stranded attendees, zero performers, and a lack of necessities on the Bahamian island of Great Exuma.

McFarland received a sentence of six years in prison, though he’s now writing a book about his Fyre Festival experience while behind bars.

Both Netflix and Hulu released documentaries detailing the failed festival in January.

Netflix’s documentary, called Fyre, immediately drew criticism for being produced by Jerry Media.  Jerry Media was a partner agency who helped promote the failed festival through several social media campaigns, which might explain the gentle treatment afforded the agency through the doc.