TVEyes Asks To Lift Restrictions On Social Media Sharing

TVEyes has asked a federal judge to lift an injunction requiring it to implement procedures to block subscribers from sharing Fox News clips on social media services.

Fox News, which is suing the $500-a-month TV monitoring service for copyright infringement, doesn't oppose that request, according to a joint letter sent to U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein in New York last week.

Both companies also state in the letter that they intend to appeal Hellerstein's earlier rulings in the matter to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Hellerstein hasn't yet said whether he will stay any of the terms of his injunction, currently slated to take effect on Dec. 14.



Hellerstein's original order, entered earlier this month, allows TVEyes to continue to stream clips to its subscribers, but requires it to prevent people from downloading the clips to their own computers. The order also directs TVEyes to take steps to block people from sharing clips on social media services, and to prohibit subscribers from emailing clips to more than five recipients at other organizations. Also, TVEyes must disable a function that allowed users to search by date, time and channel.

TVEyes is only asking Hellerstein to immediately stay the portions of the injunction that requires it to block social media sharing, and to limit subscribers' ability to email clips.

The dispute between TVEyes and Fox dates to 2013 when the broadcaster alleged that TVEyes' service infringed copyright. TVEyes enables subscribers to search for television programs by keywords, view snippets and download and share clips.

TVEyes says its service is protected by fair use principles.

Hellerstein has issued several mixed rulings in the dispute. Last year, he said that TVEyes' indexing and clipping service was “transformative,” and therefore a fair use, because it serves a different function from the original broadcasts. Hellerstein noted in that ruling that TVEyes' customers include the White House and the U.S. Army.

In August, Hellerstein ruled that a TVEyes feature that allows users to archive clips for later viewing is a fair use. But he also said that the service isn't protected by fair use when it offers downloads of news clips.

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