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Reuters – US court: Filmmaker must surrender Chevron footage

Date: Jan 13, 2011

A U.S. appeals court upholds the ruling of District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that “Crude” filmmaker Joe Berlinger must release outtakes from his film because the Ecuador plaintiffs’ lawyers asked him to make it.  In agreeing to make the film, the appeals court finds, Berlinger gave up his journalistic privileges. The appeals court writes, “Berlinger failed to carry his burden of showing that he collected information for the purpose of independent reporting and commentary.”

According to Reuters, “The film includes interviews from both sides. Chevron has said that the footage could be helpful to the company because some scenes could show instances of improper collaboration between the Ecuadorean plaintiffs and other parties. One scene which has been pointed out in particular by Chevron depicts the plaintiffs taking part in a focus group with a neutral court expert.”

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