Burns said that he and his co-filmmakers are "grateful for this important decision."
"This adds a layer of important protection to journalists and filmmakers everywhere," he said.
His lawyer, John Siegal, called it a "marvelous decision for the media industry generally and documentary filmmakers in particular."
In a declaration submitted to the court in November, Burns called the city's position "deeply disturbing for documentarians and reporters -- and the public at large" and "a troubling attempt to expand the power and role of city government and to reduce the legal protection afforded reporters."
He said the filmmakers made statements after the documentary was made urging the city to settle with the plaintiffs and "close this painful chapter in their lives and the life of the city."
But he said the opinion resulted from the reporting for the film.
"By stating this view, we have not forfeited our journalistic integrity any more than any author or columnist or filmmaker who espouses a point-of-view about a story he or she is reporting," he wrote.