TVEyes And DirecTV Settle Battle Over Clips

Television monitoring company TVEyes has agreed to resolve a lawsuit brought by satellite provider DirecTV, according to new court papers filed on Monday.

TVEyes and DirecTV haven't revealed all of the details of the settlement, but both companies are asking U.S. District Court Judge Fernando Olguin in the Central District of California to enter an injunction that imposes several restrictions on TVEyes. Among other terms, the proposed injunction prohibits TVEyes from retransmitting programs online that were originally captured from DirecTV.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in June by DirecTV, which alleged that TVEyes violates the federal Communications Act by transmitting clips from news programs without the satellite provider's authorization.

TVEyes enables subscribers to its $500-a-month service to search for programs by keywords, view snippets and download and share clips. To accomplish this, TV Eyes records every program broadcast on more than 1,400 TV and radio stations.



Before TVEyes agreed to settle the matter, the company argued that the case should be dismissed. The company characterized itself in court papers as "a valuable and entirely legal monitoring service -- the broadcast media analogue to a search engine or book index a la Google Books," and argued that it is protected by fair use principles.

DirecTV's first filed suit several months after U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein in New York ruled that TVEyes didn't infringe Fox News' copyright by digitizing its news programs. He later ruled that a TVEyes feature that allows users to archive clips for later viewing is a fair use, but that the service isn't protected by fair use when it offers downloads of news clips.

Fox and TVEyes have both said they are appealing Hellerstein's orders.

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