Fox News Network's closely watched copyright case against media-monitoring service TVEyes Inc. is headed for the Second Circuit after both sides agreed it was the “appropriate time” for the appeals court to weigh in on the case.
U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein signed off on Monday on an agreement between the companies to stay both the litigation and much of an injunction he handed down last month against TVEyes — a web service that records television and turns it into a word-searchable database for news services, politicians and others.
Both sides want the case immediately taken to the Second Circuit, because they have big gripes with how Hellerstein has ruled in the case, which is being closely followed in copyright circles because of its potential impact on other projects that compile and index copyrighted works.
Fox plans to appeal Hellerstein’s finding last year that TVEyes' core service of turning television broadcasts into a searchable database of clips for users was protected by the fair use doctrine and thus didn’t infringe the network’s copyrights. He said it was a valuable research tool that didn’t harm the network's ability to monetize their content.
TVEyes, meanwhile, plans to appeal a ruling this year that took a few steps back. In August, Hellerstein said that several of the company’s side features — tools that let users download clips and share them through email, for instance — are not allowed under the doctrine and thus infringed Fox’s copyrights.
Both sides will also appeal the injunction Hellerstein handed down last month, which shut down the TVEyes features he’d said infringed Fox’s copyrights. Fox wanted a far broader injunction than it got; TVEyes wanted the injunction only to apply to 19 clips entered into the case record.
Notably, the stay still allows some aspects of the injunction to remain in place during the appeal to the Second Circuit. TVEyes users will not be allowed to download clips, nor will they be allowed to search by time or date — two of the features Judge Hellerstein said were not protected by fair use.
Fox News is represented by Dale M. Cendali, Joshua L. Simmons and Johanna Schmitt of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
TVEyes was represented by Todd Steven Anten, Jessica Anne Rose and Andrew H. Schapiro of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.
The case is Fox News Network LLC v. TVEyes Inc., case number 1:13-cv-05315, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
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