Fox News Network LLC hit TVEyes Inc. with a lawsuit in New York federal court on Tuesday, saying TVEyes copies Fox News’ proprietary content 24 hours per day as it is being telecast and makes it available for a subscription fee to Internet users.
The lawsuit raises allegations that TVEyes makes verbatim reproductions of Fox News programs and the closed captioning associated with them. Fox News said the suit seeks to recover damages that Fox News has suffered and to prevent the irreparable harm that continues to threaten it as a result of TVEyes’ willful infringement of Fox News’ intellectual property rights.
Fox News said after unlawfully and willfully appropriating all of Fox News’ content, TVEyes — without consent from Fox News — distributes, publicly performs and publicly displays that content on www.tveyes.com.
“In a deliberate attempt to profit from Fox News’s valuable intellectual property, TVEyes sells subscriptions to its Media Monitoring Suite service to users who can then view Fox News’s programming on the TVEyes website,” the complaint said. “The infringing service directly competes with Fox News’ telecasting and clip licensing services.”
Fairfield, Conn.-based TVEyes said its mission is to organize the world’s television and radio broadcasts and make them universally searchable by the spoken words.
Fox News said TVEyes has engaged, and continues to engage, in a pattern and practice of knowingly, intentionally and willfully infringing Fox News’ copyrights and that TVEyes is attempting to build a business by stealing the content. Despite repeated requests to stop its infringing activities, TVEyes has continued to misappropriate and profit from Fox News’ copyrighted content, according to the suit.
Fox News said TVEyes is “well aware” that it must obtain a license, consent or authorization from Fox News in order to reproduce its programming and content in this manner.
TVEyes even contacted Fox News seeking a license for its use of Fox News content, to which Fox News declined and demanded TVEyes cease its infringing reproduction. TVEyes has refused to comply and even to respond to Fox News’ most recent letter, the complaint said.
Fox News said, because of TVEyes’ blatant infringement and refusal to cease and desist, it had no choice but to bring suit seeking injunctive relief and damages that it has suffered as a result of TVEyes’ direct and contributory copyright infringement under the Copyright Act of 1976.
Dale M. Cendali of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, counsel to Fox News, said TVEyes shouldn't get a free ride on Fox News' hard work.
“Fox News works hard to produce its programming, and it is committed to protecting its intellectual property rights from free riding copyists," Cendali told Law360 on Thursday. "Fox News had to file the complaint after its many efforts to get the defendant to cease and desist voluntarily were rebuffed.”
Representatives for TVEyes didn’t immediately return requests for comment Tuesday.
Fox News is represented by Dale M. Cendali and Joshua L. Simmons of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Counsel information for TVEyes wasn’t immediately available.
The case is Fox News Network LLC v. TVEyes Inc., case No. 13-cv-5315, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
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