CBS Lawyer Vows to Press 'Glass House' Case Despite Setback
“This comes down to whether there is going to be any copyright protection for reality television,” CBS litigator Scott Edelman tells THR.
The lead attorney for CBS expressed his disappointment with a ruling Friday that will allow ABC’s new reality competition series The Glass House to air on Monday despite its alleged similarity to Big Brother.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter outside the courtroom, attorney Scott Edelman insisted CBS will go forward with its copyright and trade-secret case against Glass House in the wake of U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess denying his request for a temporary restraining order Friday.
“This comes down to whether there is going to be any copyright protection for reality television,” Edelman said, adding that Glass House copies not just the idea behind Big Brother but the expression of the show over the past 13 years. That distinction is key for a copyright claim under federal law, which does not protect mere ideas.
Edelman said Glass House likely will cost Big Brother a share of the viewing audience. Once the show debuts Monday, he said he thinks CBS will have more information and thus will have a stronger case. “We will have more material to work with,” Edelman said.
Glenn Pomerantz, lead attorney for ABC, declined comment after the hearing.
CBS also issued the following statement Friday in response to the ruling:
"We appreciate the Court’s continuing consideration of this case and our request for an injunction. Win, lose or draw on the TRO, we fully intend to proceed with our claims against Disney/ABC for copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets over The Glass House, which may still warrant more injunction proceedings depending on the content of each episode. At the same time, we will move forward with our individual claims for liability and liquidated damages against any current The Glass House producer who violated their Big Brother confidentiality agreement."
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