Netflix and the producers of “Tiger King” have been hit with a copyright infringement lawsuit in Los Angeles over “Ace Ventura” film clips used in the hit documentary series about the flamboyant ex-owner of a private big-cat zoo, according to court papers obtained Tuesday.
The suit filed late Monday on behalf of Morgan Creek Productions alleges that Goode Films lifted two clips from “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls” used in the first episode of “Tiger King” without authorization, in violation of federal copyright law.
“Leaving no room for doubt as to the source, a dubbed-over voice identifies one such movie as Ace Ventura, at the precise time when the Infringing Clips appear on screen,” the federal court complaint reads. “Plaintiff is informed and believes, and thereupon alleges, that Ace Ventura is the only film used in Tiger King where more than one clip appears.”
The two clips, totaling five seconds of screen time, feature “Ace Ventura” star Jim Carrey in scenes with an elephant and a monkey, according to the suit, which seeks damages of at least $300,000.
The Los Angeles-based plaintiffs contend that use of the Carrey clips “serve to enhance the commercial value” of “Tiger King” by falsely suggesting that the makers of “Ace Ventura 2” are favorably promoting the Netflix series.
Attempts to reach representatives for Netflix and Goode Films outside of regular business hours were not immediately successful.
“Tiger King,” chronicling the exploits of the now-incarcerated Oklahoma zoo owner known as Joe Exotic, was Netflix’s No. 1 hit following its March 2020 debut and remains among the network’s most successful documentary releases.
“Ace Ventura 2” grossed over $108 million against a $30 million budget after its release 26 years ago, according to the lawsuit.