See id .
The USTA grants licenses to third parties both for live US Open broadcasts as well as for the use of archival footage, including footage of on-court match play, awards presentations, press
conferences, player interviews and “8 Roll” footage of the stands and grounds of the National
Tennis Center during the US Open. (
Compl. at ¶ 19.) As one of its greatest assets, the USTA
guards and controls the market for licenses of US Open footage. (
Compl. at ¶¶ 18 & 20.) The USTA first came into contact with Defendants VSW Productions LLC, M & M Films, Inc., Maiken Baird, and Michelle Major (collectively “Defendants”) in or about July, 2011, when Defendants approached the USTA. (
Compl. at ¶ 22.) At that time, Defendants were in production of a commercial motion picture concerning the lives and careers of American superstar tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. (
Compl. at ¶ 21.) Defendants wished to include in their Film both archival footage of the Williams sisters competing in the US Open, a tournament that each of the sisters has won multiple times, as well as off-court, behind the scenes
footage of the 2011 US Open, which Defendants wished to obtain. (
Compl. at ¶ 22.) Recognizing that the USTA’s permission would be required in order to include any US Open footage in the Film, Defendants sought such permission, writing to the USTA:
... We have already filmed at the Australian Open, The Aegon International and
Wimbledon this year and are hoping that you will help us acquire accreditation for our small crew of 3 or 4 plus 2 producers to film at the US Open .. .
we are entirely willing to agree to film only where and what
your organization will allow.
Please let me know how we should proceed. (Compl. at ¶ 22.) In making this request, Defendants acknowledged the USTA’s right to control who may record (and ultimately use) footage of the US Open, and that the USTA’s polices would dictate,
including what footage Defendants were able to obtain. (
Compl. at ¶ 22.)
Case 7:13-cv-04124-NSR Document 27 Filed 11/06/13 Page 2 of 11