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University Settles FAMU Sex Tape Lawsuit

FAMU President James H. Ammons holds a copy of the settlement with RK Netmedia, Inc. regarding a sexually explicit video called “Big Rattler 77” that university officials said damaged the reputation and name of the university. FAMU’s General Counsel Atty. Avery McKnight stands in the background.

April 7, 2010

TALLAHASSEE, Fla
. – Florida A&M University (FAMU) is pleased to announce that it has reached a settlement with RK Netmedia, Inc. regarding a pornographic video called “Big Rattler 77” that university officials said damaged the reputation and name of the university.

As part of the settlement, RK Netmedia, Inc. has agreed to pay FAMU $105,000 to fully fund two scholarships and pay $15,000 for attorney fees.  Secondly, RK Netmedia, Inc. has agreed to issue a press release offering its regrets and apologies for releasing the video.  In addition, RK Netmedia, Inc. has agreed to exercise a reasonable and good faith effort to prevent and stop any and all other persons from displaying the video.

A settlement was reached by the university attorneys that was approved today by the FAMU Board of Trustees.  

“RK Netmedia, Inc. has already signed the settlement and with the Board’s approval, we expect that the joint consent agreement will be accepted by the court,” said FAMU President James H. Ammons. “The resolution of this case represents a firm commitment by FAMU and its Board of Trustees to preserve the good name and reputation of this university for its students, alumni and the people of this great state of Florida.”

FAMU filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida against RK NetMedia, Inc. on March 16 after discovering that the sexually explicit video with references to FAMU, its mascot and school colors were displayed on a website name “Daredorm.com.”  The video suggested that it was filmed on the university campus and individuals depicted were FAMU students. According to university officials, this settlement is historic for FAMU and all of the colleges and universities across the nation.

“The timely resolution of this lawsuit not only benefits FAMU and its students, but creates a legal precedence and a landmark opportunity for other state and national universities to legally protect their name, trademarks and reputation,” said Ammons.

Ammons thanked the University’s General Counsel Atty. Avery McKnight, Atty. Richard Mitchell of GrayRobinson Law Firm, for proceeding with the lawsuit that has resulted in this amicable resolution.  He also thanked RK Netmedia, Inc. for working with the attorney to reach an agreement.

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