The TVEyes v. Fox saga has reached its conclusion. Following the Supreme Court’s denial of TVEyes’ petition for certiorari, the video clipping service had little choice but to settle Fox News’s copyright infringement lawsuit. The parties filed a permanent injunction in the Southern District of New York under which TVEyes agreed to eliminate all Fox News content from its database. This injunction is a final settlement and protects TVEyes from having to defend a claim for damages and attorneys’ fees.
TVEyes is a subscription service that records virtually everything on TV. By syncing the video with closed captioning data, it’s able to make this library searchable by keyword. Subscribers can retrieve 10-minute clips around the keyword. Users include news organizations, the White House, members of Congress and the military. Fox News brought a copyright infringement suit against TVEyes in the Southern District, which TVEyes defended successfully on fair use grounds. The Second Circuit reversed the District Court, primarily on the ground that the clipping service deprived Fox News of licensing revenue that it would otherwise be able to realize.
This case attracted much attention, with free speech organizations such as Wikimedia and the Electronic Frontier Foundation arguing in support TVEyes’ position that its redistribution of clips is “transformative” and serves an important social role.
It remains to be seen whether other content owners will piggyback on Fox News’s success and demand that their content be removed from the site, or whether TVEyes will be able to develop a business model under which they pay for content.