On December 3, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari (which is a document a losing party files with the Supreme Court asking the Supreme Court to review the decision of a lower court) filed by TVEyes, a television search engine. This decision leaves the Second Circuit court's decision intact to the effect that TVEyes business is not privileged under the doctrine of “fair use” because it “deprives Fox of revenue that properly belongs to the copyright holder.”
TVEyes records television around the clock and turns it into a word-searchable database. TVEyes reasonably believed they were protected by the fair use doctrine (which allows the use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder), like Google's unauthorized digitization of millions of books, however the Second Circuit sided with Fox, and now that decision is final.
TVEyes wrote in its September petition, “To allow a news organization to prevent meaningful research on its content under the guise of nonexistent licensing markets extinguishes this beneficial, and necessary, opportunity for discourse that analyzes and critiques the nation's news coverage…Proper application of the fair use doctrine is the key First Amendment safeguard to protect the public from such abuses.” Unfortunately, while the Second Circuit previously sided with Google in connection with the digitization of books in Authors Guild, Inc. v. Google, Inc., 954 F.Supp.2d, 282 (2013), the Second Circuit has sided with Fox on this one.
TVEyes is represented by Kathleen Sullivan of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP.
Fox News is represented by Dale M. Cendali of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
The case is TVEyes Inc. v. Fox News Network LLC, case number 18-321, in the U.S. Supreme Court.
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