May 31, 2023
Spitballing ideas with friends can sometimes lead to a million-dollar idea. That was the hope of Philadelphia-native and "Survivor" Season 1 contestant Gervase Peterson when he wrote a script for a reality TV series about Ken Goldin, a premier memorabilia collector.
Peterson has now filed a lawsuit against Goldin, claiming the self-proclaimed memorabilia king ripped off his idea with Goldin's Netflix series "King of Collectibles: The Goldin Touch," which debuted last month. The lawsuit also includes the streaming company and Goldin's company, Goldin Auctions.
In the 12-page complaint, Peterson says that in 2019 he wrote a screenplay for a show, "The Goldin Boys," and that Goldin shot a sizzle reel to entice potential media companies. "The substantial similarities between 'The Goldin Boys' and 'King' are remarkable," the lawsuit says.
Peterson, along with co-plaintiffs Richard Berger and Skye Dennis, are seeking monetary damages and for the show to be removed from Netflix and any subsequent seasons canceled. According to the lawsuit, one of the main parallels between the Netflix show and the sizzle reel is the use of a segment about Jackie Robinson's baseball contract.
After shooting the sizzle reel, the lawsuit claims that, despite attempts made in 2020, there was no further communication between Goldin and Peterson.
PhillyVoice reached out to Goldin Auctions for comment but did not receive a response.
When it comes to copyrighted material, certain factors determine fair use, including the purpose of the use and whether or not it is for profit; the use of factual content as opposed to fictional work; the amount of copyrighted material used; and whether or not using the copyrighted material affects an owner's ability to profit of it.
Goldin Auctions, founded in 2012, has sold more than $1 billion worth of memorabilia from sports and pop culture figures, including game-worn jerseys, shoes and rare trading cards.