CBS Drops Lawsuit Over Copycat Reality Show After The Market Effectively Kills The Show First

from the about-time dept

A couple months back, we discussed CBS's lawsuit against ABC, in which it claimed that the latter's Glass House reality show infringed upon the former's Big Brother copyright in an apparent reality check to anyone that still thought copyright covered specific expression rather than an idea. At the time, we noted that the complaint appeared to reference what is essentially the basis for every horrible reality show ever. Once the judge in the case refused to order an injunction against ABC, CBS then did what it probably should have done in the first place and released a rather funny mock press release announcing a series of new fictitious shows clearly "borrowed" from ABC's line up.

Sadly, the fun may be coming to a close, as The AV Club reports that CBS is dropping the suit:
CBS has dropped its lawsuit over ABC's Big Brother copycat, saying it was no longer interested in pursuing a case against a show no one is watching anyway. "The viewers have spoken and delivered the ultimate form of justice against The Glass House," CBS said in a statement, gloating over the low ratings for a series that likely would have escaped all viewer attention had CBS not made such a huge deal about it in the first place, and which certainly have less to do with "justice" than general apathy about watching another one of these things.
Yes, they managed to avert disaster of Streisand-ic proportions. One wonders if The Glass House's demise might have been even further along at this point had CBS never even brought about the lawsuit to begin with. Either way, the statement from CBS is as snarky as their faux press release, which I'd suggest is the better method for competing compared with suing for demonstrably common reality show tropes. On the other hand, CBS isn't dropping out of the "sue over nonsense" business completely:
Nevertheless, the network also added that it will continue to pursue separate arbitration with the ex-Big Brother producers who allegedly stole "trade secrets" for use on Glass House, such as the top-secret strategy of using cameras to capture the arguments of extroverted strangers forced to share a living space, rather than having pleasant, shy people live comfortably in their own homes and then rendering them in pastels. That was their idea.
Perhaps the next lawsuit we hear will involve ridiculously good-looking police forces solving crimes?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2012 @ 8:26pm

    Those who live in...nah, too easy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2012 @ 8:31pm

    "Perhaps the next lawsuit we hear about will involve..."
    Singing, dancing, and talent competitions? Doctors? Lawyers? Classic fairy tale characters?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2012 @ 8:35pm

    Hey did you guys hear that FOX claims every network is infringing upon their rights by using humans in their tv shows and movies.
    So far they claim damages in the amount of hundreds of trillions has been caused.

    Also Bridgestone is suing Michelin for infringing upon their rights by also having round tires so they claim.

    Aquafina claims Dasani has infringed their rights by using their key ingredient water.

     

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    Pixelation, Aug 20th, 2012 @ 9:48pm

    CBS was also heard to say, "People in Glass Houses shouldn't throw stones".

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2012 @ 9:52pm

    ...ex-Big Brother producers who allegedly stole "trade secrets" for use on Glass House, such as the top-secret strategy of using cameras to capture the arguments of extroverted strangers forced to share a living space...

    Top-secret strategy?! It's how they promote the very premise of the show! It's in every damn intro and advert!

    Top-secret... Is this satire that's flying over my head? I always hope it is, but I'm so often disappointed and it's just someone who's had waaay too much smoke blown up their asses at some mutual admiration society party...

    Sigh. Satire is dead. A moment of silence, please.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2012 @ 11:06pm

    /Nelson "Point & laugh"

    HA-ha!

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Aug 21st, 2012 @ 2:27am

    I wish reality TV would hurry up and die. It is a pitiful example of television which allows complete numpties to have 15 mins of fame. Shows like X Factor are the real killers of the music industry.

     

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    Donglebert the Lengthy, Aug 21st, 2012 @ 4:00am

    CSI Hollywood - Copyright Stealing Investigations

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 21st, 2012 @ 4:26am

    Disaster Averted

    ABC and CBS both dodged a bullet on this one.
    If this had gone to court and people found out that they have hidden cameras on a reality show...OMG!

     

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    abc gum, Aug 21st, 2012 @ 4:44am

    Why are they called "reality" tv when there is nothing real about them? Cops is more of a reality show.

     

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    DanJ, Aug 21st, 2012 @ 7:07am

    Internet growth

    Pathetic TV programing, both broadcast and pay, has been a primary factor in internet growth in the last few years. More people are "cutting the cable" or just abandoning TV altogether because they now have an alternative, and the media companies are scrambling to try and limit the internet any way they can. A last act of desperation, it just got away from them while they were snoozin, the genie is out of the bottle and aint going back, no way no how. There is a limit on how many times you can see Law and Order or CSI where ever, reruns before you just shut the damn thing off and go online to search the "billions" on channels for something of interest. There is always something better or different. The media moguls just don't understand that endless "me too" "reality shows and mindless sitcoms" are what what causes TV burnout. OH and what about the network"s version of the News, "all we think you need to know with our spin" I occasionally watch it just to compare with REAL news. We will find what we want and need, we just won't find it on TV, and that's just fine with me. So "TV" if you want to commit suicide by a Thousand cuts to prolong the pain, just follow your current path, it seems to be vertical with no apparent obstructions and gravity always wins. It's a wild ride but the stop at the end is a real bitch.

     

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    Yakko Warner (profile), Aug 21st, 2012 @ 8:32am

    CBS: "We stole it first!"

    Wasn't this the premise of MTV's "Real World"?

     

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    David Good (profile), Aug 21st, 2012 @ 10:13am

    Wait, really?

    Did anyone bother to tell the CBS lawyers that they copied Big Brother from a Dutch television show from 1997? That three years before Big Brother aired on CBS there was prior art in Europe? Doesn't seem to me CBS has much to stand on in this lawsuit.

    For that matter, why aren't George Orwell's descendants suing CBS?

     

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