RFF Archive > Glass House

CBS vs. ABC Lawsuit: The Glass House

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HurricaneHowieWood:
A Couple Days Ago...From Deadline.com....

CBS’ Attempt To Shut Down ABC’s ‘Glass House’ Before Premiere Dealt Court Blow

By DOMINIC PATTEN | Tuesday June 5, 2012 @ 9:09pm PDTTags: ABC, Big Brother, CBS, Glass House

The clock has partially run out on CBS’ legal attempt to stop production and the June 18 premiere of ABC’s new reality series Glass House, which CBS says is a rip-off of Big Brother. Today, a federal judge said he won’t decide until at least June 15 the battling networks’ dispute over the discovery process in the case. This means the time CBS has to look at documents and depositions to find out exactly how much Glass House resembles Big Brother so they can shut it down is very tight. To make matters more pressing for CBS, ABC has already announced the Glass House contestants and plans to offer voting viewers an online look at the house on Saturday. Of course, the plaintiff network isn’t out of options: CBS said in court documents filed yesterday that it will be seeking a temporary restraining order against Glass House while these matters are ongoing. Nothing had been filed as of Tuesday evening.
 


In his ruling today, Judge John McDermott rejected CBS’ proposed fast-track discovery schedule that sought to have everything wrapped up by 5 PM tomorrow. Instead, the judge adopted a significant portion of the much more lenient timeline proposed by ABC. The ruling gives ABC until June 11 to provide supporting documents and declarations for CBS to examine. Then there are June 12 and June 15 filing deadlines for supplemental material. Then everyone waits, with no idea how long.
 
CBS filed a multi-million dollar suit on May 10 against ABC, Disney, Keep Calm and Carry On Productions and several former Big Brother producers. It cited copyright infringement, trade-secret misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of contract and conspiracy among other claims. ABC counter-filed, saying it believed there was “no merit” to CBS’ lawsuit. Since then, with the exception of a June 3 deposition, the networks have been locked in legal trench warfare — an approach CBS calls “ABC’s run-out-the-clock strategy.”

Source:http://www.deadline.com/2012/06/cbs-glass-house-lawsuit-court-schedule-abc/

theschnauzers:
It appears that the executive producer of Glass House, Kenny Rosen literally had a complete copy typed of the Big Brother Guest manual, and he admitted consulting a production log to determine how many people he needed to hire for production. He also admitted half of his staff came from Big Brother. So CBS is seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the show from even starting a live feed, and with that type of evidence they may be able to get it.

From Deadline.com:

CBS Seeks To Block ABC Series ‘Glass House’ With Temporary Restraining Order
Thursday June 7, 2012 @ 6:21pm PDT

--- Quote ---UPDATE 8 PM: ABC has issued a statement slamming CBS‘ latest attempt to stop ABC’s new reality series Glass House.

    This is a naked attempt by CBS to stifle competition and creativity by claiming that reality techniques that have been developed over many years, on many shows by countless producers, are somehow exclusive to CBS.

PREVIOUS: CBS’ outside counsel tonight will file for a temporary restraining order against ABC in an effort to prevent ABC from premiering the Big Brother-like new reality series Glass House on June 18. The filing will be made electronically at midnight with US District Court judge Gary Allen Feess. The move was expected as the discovery phase in CBS’ lawsuit against Disney and ABC over Glass House has been moving slowly, and a federal judge not expected to make a ruling in the case before June 15 at the earliest. That is the Friday before the Monday, June 18 scheduled debut of Glass House.

We’ve learned that the TRO request is based primarily on the deposition for former Big Brother producer Kenny Rosen, now executive producer/showrunner of Glass House. In a deposition with CBS lawyers last Sunday, he admitted to taking a copy of the Big Brother Guest Manual and having it typed up separately as part of a Glass House manual. Given that the manual is considered a proprietary document and viewed as highly confidential by CBS, the network lawyers will argue that that is a clear violation of the non-disclosure agreement Rosen signed when at Big Brother. Rosen also admitted about two-thirds through his depo that he “consulted” the Big Brother Master Control schedule in an effort to partially figure out how many people he would have to hire for the production of Glass House. Rosen’s attorney Devin McRae shut down the line of questioning at that point, claiming attorney/client privilege. But Rosen also allegedly revealed that even more former Big Brother staffers being employed by Glass House than previously known. He put the number at 25-30, half of the ABC series’ staff. He also acknowledged that development of Glass House at ABC started around the time former Big Brother producer Corie Henson joined the network as an executive in the unscripted department. Additionally, Rosen admitted to deleting Glass House-related emails after CBS had filed its lawsuit over the show.
CBS filed a multi-million dollar suit on May 10 against ABC, Disney and several former Big Brother producers. It cited copyright infringement, trade-secret misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of contract and conspiracy among other claims. ABC counter-sued, saying it believed there was “no merit” to CBS’ lawsuit. Since then, the networks have been locked in legal trench warfare — an approach CBS calls “ABC’s run-out-the-clock strategy.” Meanwhile, ABC has proceeded with announcing a cast for Glass House and is running a promo campaign for the series, while CBS has continued with its legal action against Disney as well as the individual producers who once worked on Big Brother and are now on Glass House, which the network claims are in violation of their Big Brother NDAs. CBS is represented by Scott Edelman, Michael Seitz, Theane Evangelis Kapur and Blaine Evanson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. ABC is represented by Glenn Pomerantz, Jonathan Altman and Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

--- End quote ---

HurricaneHowieWood:
CBS adds some big allegations in it's injunction filing againist ABC...

CBS adds new allegations against ABC reality show

By ANTHONY McCARTNEY | Associated Press – 2 hrs 43 mins ago...


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Attorneys for CBS Corp. claim the producer of an upcoming ABC reality series copied materials from his time on "Big Brother" and deleted emails that could have proved important in a case over whether the new show should be allowed to air.

The allegations were included in a filing Thursday that asked a federal judge to block the June 18 premiere of ABC's "The Glass House." CBS claims the series copies heavily from its hit show "Big Brother" and relies on experience and techniques used on that long-running series.

CBS' case focuses heavily on the notion that ABC is relying on the experience of roughly 30 former "Big Brother" staffers now working at "Glass House," including Executive Producer Kenny Rosen.

Rosen acknowledged in a recent deposition that he deleted emails after ABC had been warned by CBS that it would be sued, court documents said. It also alleges that Rosen directed a staffer to copy manuals he obtained while working on "Big Brother."

That would violate a non-disclosure agreement Rosen signed while working with CBS and could be a basis for blocking ABC from airing "Glass House," CBS' attorneys argue.

"It may be rare that a court enjoins a television show from proceeding ... but if ever there were a time to do so, this is it," CBS attorneys wrote in their motion.

Much of Rosen's deposition testimony was redacted from public copies of the filings, but CBS said in a statement that his testimony "further demonstrates the brazen lengths that former 'Big Brother' producers have gone to use confidential material, obtained while under our employment, to develop this new show."

ABC's attorneys responded Friday by requesting that the motion not be heard before "Glass House" premieres, arguing that an order blocking the show from airing would harm its network and potentially leave 140 employees jobless.

"In the end, this entire litigation appears to be an effort by CBS to knock out a competitive show in the courtroom, rather than compete in the homes of American viewers who could choose which the best show is (or choose to watch both)," ABC's lawyers wrote.

No hearing date on CBS' motion has been set, but both sides have been arguing for weeks over evidence. ABC and Rosen have denied wrongdoing and issued statements in response to CBS' motion.

"CBS first tried to intimidate me and then sued me for agreeing to work for a competing network," Rosen wrote in a statement. "What CBS is doing is wrong on many levels and I look forward to our day in court."

ABC wrote in a statement that it was "a naked attempt by CBS to stifle competition and creativity by claiming that reality techniques that have been developed over many years, on many shows by countless producers, are somehow exclusive to CBS."

ABC has continued work on its show even after CBS sued the network on May 10, alleging copyright infringement and violation of trade secrets. Its filing Friday argued that CBS cannot win on copyright grounds, noting that an idea itself is not protected by copyright laws.

Fourteen "Glass House" contestants were announced Monday, including a bail bondsman, a scientist and a bar mitzvah DJ. The contestants will become housemates and compete for a $250,000 prize. Audience feedback will help shape the contestants' daily life and who stays in the game.

"Big Brother" is scheduled to begin airing its 14th season in the United States in early July.

Source:http://news.yahoo.com/cbs-adds-allegations-against-abc-reality-show-175931915.html

TexasLady:
It's beginning to look like a big mess.  :ascared  I wonder if having the BB manual and perhaps using it for the new show will be detrimental to ABC and the show.

theschnauzers:
It's not a "perhaps;" I personally think it's a devastating development for ABC as this documents outright theft of proprietary information, no matter what ABC says publicly.

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