Friday, March 25, 2016

Fox and TvEyes in court battle that could affect how Fair Use applies to news aggregation

There is more development on the case of Fox v. TvEyes (Jan. 26).  TvEyes maintains a broadcast content index database, which Fox complained infringed on its copyright-protected programming.  EFF has an update story here.

The district court in New York apparently agreed that the concept as a whole constitutes Fair Use, but believed that some advanced features, such as link sharing and date-time sequencing, could go beyond what has been accepted as Fair Use.  The case is now before the Second Circuit.

Law360 has a fact sheet on the case here.

Hollywood Reporter wrote an article in December explaining the limitations on fair use implied by the lower court ruling here.  It’s hard to see how facilitating downloading wouldn’t be fair use if the original content were on the original copyright owner’s server.

My concern would be the potential fair use limitations for a website that consolidates the material from different news services into one common format.

One aspect of the case that is surprising is that Fox itself has “lobbied” judicially for expansive fair use implementation in social media, especially on Facebook and especially with terror-related materials.

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