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CBS Lawyers Threaten ABC Over 'Big Brother'-Type Show 'Glass House'

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IMHO: If Rosen was really innocent, then why did he tell his production people to delete e-mail, and he admits to asking BB employs to copy the house handbooks, contracts and production training manuals. in his dispossession, Rosen admitted to this. He not only sounds guilty, but stupid.

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In advance of a big hearing tomorrow that will determine if CBS can convince a judge to shut down ABC's Glass House, CBS has fired a new salvo.

CBS Continues Attack on ABC's 'Glass House' in New Court Filing

by Daniel Miller, Eriq Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter

On Thursday, attorneys for CBS filed a supplemental declaration from copyright expert Jeff Rovin, who claims in the 11-page document that ABC's program is a "copy" of CBS'sBig Brother. Rovin reviewedGlass House footage that ABC released on the Internet. Rovin's declaration is adorned with pictures and he tries to make the case that the new series is substantially similar to CBS' long-running reality TV hit

Rovin alleges that Glass Housecopies everything from Big Brother's camera angles to the way it introduces characters to viewers and even a copycat "conversational pool/spa segment."

Read the Document Here

He adds: "ABC and its creative team have introduced virtually nothing new in the way of staging, camera work, setting, narrative, wardrobe, or anything else that comprise the expression of Big Brother," Rovin wrote. "Given all the possible expansions ABC could have introduced to the reality television genre, the producers clearly chose to replicate what CBS has spent more than a decade refining and perfecting."

ABC began live streaming the show on Tuesday, one day before CBS demanded to see lots of documents stemming from the making of the new series. CBS has also requested a copy of the show, whether or not it was "final." The judge hasn't yet made a decision on whether to compel ABC to hand over further documents, but the Big Brother network has been tuning into CBS' streamed release anyway.

In one example, Rovin compared similar images of a blonde woman taken from both shows and wrote: "From the costuming to the hair color to the set color to the lighting, the look and feel of this clip from Big Brother ten is clearly indistinguishable from Glass House."

Rovin goes so far as to mention the similarity of the drapery and pillow colors

As THRpreviously reported, CBS is arguing that Glass House violates the intellectual property of Big Brother and that trade secrets obtained by at least 19 former Big Brother employees are being used to create the new show.

ABC denies that Glass House, which is set to debut June 18, is a copycat, arguing that the "processes and techniques [are] already well known to everyone who has ever worked in reality television" and that none of the alleged similarities between the shows constitute copyright protectable elements.

Despite the lawsuit, ABC has moved forward with advertising the show and announcing the cast. But behind the scenes, an urgent legal drama is playing out. CBS is pulling out all the stops trying to prevent the show from airing, filing a motion May 31 to get the court's permission to expedite the fact-finding process in preparation for a motion for preliminary injunction. ABC has fired back with its own court filing.

CBS is represented by Scott Edelman and a team from L.A.'s Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. ABC is repped by Glenn Pomerantz and a team from Munger Tolles & Olson. Rosen is repped by Devin McRae of L.A.'s Early Sullivan firm.

Glass House is set to premiere June 18.

Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller

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Having been rewatching BB2 this week (pretty much with fresh eyes it's been so long, and I only saw clips first time around) there is notable similarity between the questions The Glass House posed to viewers the other day and old America's Choice questions. The format takes a lot from Big Brother internationally - and I think the oddities of The Glass House such as limited streaming windows and putting houseguests in a hotel at a weekend scream of them trying to do such things to differentiate it from BB and avoid the lawsuit.

Personally of all the Big Brother rip-offs over the last decade this is one of the clearest IMO. I do have sympathies though for the staff as in most jobs if you're unhappy in the way things are done when working for someone else you have the opportunity to set up on your own and operate in the same business field, but do things your way.

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I watched one hour of the online streaming, and this show is not the same as BB, imo.

It would be like saying all crime shows on TV copied, CSI.

The online streaming is only about the GH competing in task that are voted in live by the viewers who are watching. The inside of the house is very nice and classy, unlike the BB house. If anything, I see more similarities with the UK BB show, rather than the US BB show, right now.

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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.

By Alex Ben Block of The Hollywood Reporter

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."

Email: Alex.Benblock@thr.com

Twitter: @ABBlock

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Guest 6Borders

CBS is soooo stupid. Glass House will not cost BB a share of the viewing audience...we are hooked on this kind of show and will watch both, if not to see something with a different spin just to compare and complain (our entertainment...lol!.

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Maybe the lawsuit was a brilliant tactic.

While CBS may not have blocked the show from airing a byproduct of the suit may have:

- forced comparison to BB where Glass House emerges as a weak and transparent facsimile.

- created buzz and free press for BB prior to it's air date

- caused redirection of attention and a scramble of Glass House production from the game to lawsuit

I find the scenes playing out from the courtroom infinitely more interesting than the premiere episode.

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Guest 6Borders

I don't think CBS is that brilliant to think of their lawsuit in terms of free publicity...lol!! I would definitely tune in to court TV and watch the lawyers have it over this issue tho...hehehe!!

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I think it's clear from the premiere and the reaction to it how much of a rip off it actually is. I know all US reality shows are pretty much edited the same way (badly!!!) but it was very much an edition of Big Brother I saw - especially the creeping camera shots moving around the house in between scenes.

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I can't see how they have a case unless there was a breach of the confidentiality agreements. I can't see much of what would be in there that isn't already public knowledge though. From just viewing the shows, what they are doing on Big Brother seems pretty transparent to me.

I don't think a network should have a monpoloy on filming people in a house doing competitions and having things voted on though, if they were allowed to somehow copyright any of that, it would set a terrible precedent.

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HAHA good one

From: CBS Communications Group Releases

Subject: A COMPLETELY ORIGINAL AND NON-DERIVATIVE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CBS

CBS ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF “DANCING ON THE STARS,"

AN EXCITING AND COMPLETELY ORIGINAL REALITY PROGRAM THAT OWES ITS CONCEPT AND EXECUTION TO NOBODY AT ALL

Los Angeles, June 21, 2012 – Subsequent to recent developments in the creative and legal community, CBS
today felt it was appropriate to reveal the upcoming launch of an exciting, ground-breaking and completely original new reality program for the CBS Television Network.

The dazzling new show, DANCING ON THE STARS, will be broadcast live from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, and will feature moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen.

The cemetery, the first in Hollywood, was founded in 1899 and now houses the remains of Andrew “Fatty" Arbuckle, producer Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Paul Muni, Benjamin “Bugsy" Siegel, George Harrison of the Beatles and Dee Dee Ramone of the Ramones, among many other great stars of stage, screen and the music business. The company noted that permission to broadcast from the location is pending, and that if efforts in that regard are unsuccessful, approaches will be made to Westwood Village Memorial Park, where equally scintillating luminaries are interred.

“This very creative enterprise will bring a new sense of energy and fun that’s totally unlike anything anywhere else, honest, " said a CBS spokesperson, who also revealed that the Company has been working with a secret team for several months on the creation of the series, which was completely developed by the people at CBS independent of any other programming on the air. “Given the current creative and legal environment in the reality programming business, we’re sure nobody will have any problem with this title or our upcoming half-hour
for primetime, POSTMODERN FAMILY."

“After all," the spokesperson added, “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones."

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Guest 6Borders

LMAO!!!!!! Love it Loudmouth!!!

Can I be on the production crew?????

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hahahah OMG.

I seriously dont know what CBS is worried about. BB's fanbase is solid.. Although the show is pretty okay ,IMO.. I dont think it will make it... If it even completes this season, I doubt there will be a season 2. However the same was said about BB season 1. LOL!!

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I think where CBS may fail is they're trying to get the show on too many points - of the 12 similarities highlighted at least half are kind of common to all reality shows. They're better off fighting it on just a few points (and some points seem quite valid - like the camera shots for example when they creep around the house in between scenes). The won't win a case where a judge dismisses 8 out of 12 points, but could win a case where a judge agrees with 4 out of 6.

The most obvious thing I've seen though to back CBS's claim is an interview with the producer (on Dailymotion) with a reporter showing them round the house - it's so obvious how they're trying to avoid reference to Big Brother or anything Big Brother esque, pretending things like two way mirrors are a concept the glassmates won't be aware of etc.

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Loudmouth thanks for sharing.

I found myself looking for the "Like" button on that post.

I actually think I might have a family member buried there...wonder if I can get better seats for the show.

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Here are some articles from last Friday on the judge's final ruling on the injunction to block Glass House from airing.

The lawsuit for copy right infringement is still alive.

One last note...I thought Loudmouth's posting about "DANCING ON THE STARS" was some kind of joke post by someone on the Internet, but it looks like this might have actually originated on CBS' site as a mock press release.

The Hollywood Reporter 6/22/12:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/cbs-glass-house-restraining-order-341175.

USA Today 6/22/12 (mentions the CBS "joke" post for Dancing ON The Stars".

http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/story/2012-06-22/abc-glass-house-controversy/55764360/1?csp=34life#uslPageReturn

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Guest 6Borders

Bottom lawsuit line is: does or does not CBS ONLY renew Big Brother season-to-season??? That's what has always been reported every year I can remember when the fans ask "will there be BB# (fill in the blank for the next calendar year)....???".

If CBS reserves the right to ONLY renew the Big Brother show one year at at time, and unless they can produce an Iron, Golden or Diamond legal POe-V (Piece Of e-Vidence) that says otherwise, and that they (CBS/Grodner) did commit contractually to X-amount of shows, than they should shut their Pandora's Box, throw away their Tarnished Key and try to produce a better show next year, otherwise, don't throw your CBS stones at ABC's Glass House.

Case closed!!!

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NEW YORK (AP) — Now that ABC's "The Glass House" is on the air, it's hard not to wonder why CBS was so upset.

The ABC reality series debuted to just under 4 million viewers last week, placing it No. 63 in Nielsen's weekly rankings even in a quiet summer week. The Nielsen Co.'s preliminary ratings found that this Monday's second episode did even worse, reaching just 3.3 million viewers.

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