TVEyes Hit With Incredibly Restrictive Permanent Injunction By Court
from the so-much-for-the-fair-use-'win' dept
The last time we checked in with the long-running TVEyes case, the TV monitoring company had scored another partial victory for fair use. The company packages clips of news stories from TV broadcasts and makes them available to paying subscribers — which include journalists and government officials.
It had scored a much larger fair use win earlier, when the court found that even the storage of clips by TVEyes fell under fair use, despite Fox News’ protests to the contrary. A year later, some of TVEyes’ fair use victory was scaled back. The court took another look at the end users’ ability to download and store clips and found these actions weren’t covered under the fair use ruling. Users could privately share clips and create archives only they could access. What wasn’t covered was public sharing and downloading of clips.
In order to comply with the court’s decision, TVEyes would need to additionally restrict access to its compiled content. The court didn’t say specifically what TVEyes would have to change to comply with the ruling at that point. Those instructions appear to have arrived.
An injunction issued by the court contains all sorts of new restrictions, as Eriq Gardner reports.
Here’s a list of things that are now forbidden:
Enabling users to download to their own computers video clips of content telecast on the Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network.
Enabling users to view FNC or FBN content by searching by date, time, and channel.
Enabling users from sharing video clips of FNC or FBN content on social media websites rather than by personally directed emails, with further limitations.
Those further limitations?
If a TVEyes client wants to email a clip, he or she can only do so to five or less recipients. The client also has to register their work email with TVEyes instead of using Gmail or another free web email service. Those being sent the clip will also have to submit their own email address to ensure they are the intended recipients.
These new restrictions could do some serious damage to TVEyes, which charges subscribers ~$500/month for access to a wide variety of news clips. Where high-profile subscribers like Reuters, Bloomberg, the White House (yes, THAT one), the Dept. of Defense and others will go if they find the new restrictions unworkable isn’t exactly clear, but it’s a safe bet that Fox’s litigious efforts will see a few of these entities finding the service no longer worth the investment.
And that’s not the full extent of the restrictions in the permanent injunction. TVEyes will also be required to create and implement a social media blockade solely for Fox News content to prevent the public sharing of its clips. Any Fox content circulated by TVEyes will also have to carry a warning that the content has not been purchased or licensed by the company and that unauthorized sharing is considered copyright infringement. So, for $500/month, TVEyes’ subscribers will now have the privilege of being blasted with anti-piracy warnings as if they were lowly, DVD-purchasing peasants.
This order can be appealed and most certainly will be, as it imposes a ton of restrictions on content originating from a single source. Fox News gets its own new set of rules and everyone else plays by the old ones. The court’s decisions haven’t exactly added up to a fair use win, because a real fair use ruling would apply across the board, not just to everything but this one particular litigant’s content.