ABC Responds To Glass House Lawsuit, Says It's Not A Big Brother Ripoff
Author: Leslie Kasperowicz
published: 2012-05-24 09:54:54
The ABC versus CBS legal battle over copyright issues is heating up; ABC has responded to the CBS lawsuit over their upcoming reality show that bears an uncanny resemblance to the hit Big Brother. CBS filed a suit earlier in the month, and ABC has something to say about it: their show isnít just like Big Brother, and itís different enough that the suit wonít stand up.
First reported to be titled The Glass House, ABCís reality series is now being referred to as Life in a Glass House according to the Hollywood Reporter, where the latest on the suit was reported this morning. Either way, CBS says that the show, which features contestants in a house wired with cameras, violates their copyright and is too similar to Big Brother, a fact nearly everyone who has heard about the new show has noted. Add to that the fact that there are 18 former Big Brother staffers on board the new show, and youíve got yourself a lawsuit.
But ABC says it isnít so. In their response they point out numerous differences in the two shows, including that the house is not cut off from the outside world but will be able to interact via social media, that there will be no host like Big Brother's Julie Chen, and that it will be a team competition rather than individuals competing against each other. ďEven CBS must realize it cannot copyright the idea of 14 contestants living in a house rigged with cameras,Ē ABC argues in itís court papers.
Theyíve also pointed out that the trade secrets portion of the lawsuit is a joke, since the show has been airing since 2000 and thereí not much thatís secret about it at this point. CBS is seeking an injuction to shut down production; if the suit goes forward the court date for that decision will be June 11.
With the listed differences between the two shows, it sounds to me like CBS may be out of luck, but then, Iím not a lawyer. I simply see that reality show formats from dating shows to singing competitions all resemble each other in some way; it seems unsurprising that Big Brother should have the same thing happen to its format. Weíll have to see if the courts agree.
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