"NEW YORK -- A federal judge ordered a documentary filmmaker Thursday to turn over about 600 hours of raw footage from a film about a court fight over whether Chevron Corp. owes billions of dollars in damages for oil contamination in Ecuador.
U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said filmmaker Joseph Berlinger must turn over the outtakes from the film 'Crude,' which was released last year, to lawyers for Chevron.
Kaplan said Berlinger could not use the First Amendment to shield himself from Chevron's effort to get the raw footage because Berlinger had not demonstrated he was entitled to a journalist's privilege of confidentiality.
The judge noted that a lawyer for 30,000 inhabitants of the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador who are considered victims of environmental damage solicited Berlinger to create a documentary of the progression of a lawsuit through the courts in Ecuador from the perspective of his clients."
Larry Neumeister reports for the Associated Press May 6, 2010.