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CBS vs. Spoilers


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CBS suits foreshadows course of play

Times Staff Writer

In its latest lawsuit seeking to clamp down on leaks, CBS has added credibility to several hot rumors, including a detailed course of play published on the internet for the CBS Survivor: Palau show.

CBS on Friday sued several unnamed participants of the "Survivor Sucks" message board, alleging that recent postings on the site contain CBS trade secrets, according to court documents seen by the LA Times.

The suit, filed Friday in the Superior Court of Los Angeles, California, aims to identify who is leaking the information and to get an injunction preventing further release of trade secrets. However, in filing the suit, CBS identifies specific postings that contain trade secrets, indicating that at least parts of those reports are on the mark.

The lawsuit is the network's first intellectual property suit against anonymous individuals.

CBS publicist Colleen Sullivan said in a statement to the LA Times that the network's "protection of our trade secrets is crucial to our success."

"CBS has filed a civil complaint against Mersaydeez, Callmecrazee, Wezzie, and Ross Barnett who we believe stole CBS's trade secrets," CBS said in its statement. "We believe that some of these individuals solicited information about unreleased information about the CBS Survivor show from employees who violated their confidentiality agreements with CBS by providing details that were later posted on the Internet."

In its suit, CBS specifically lists certain postings that contain confidential information, though it does not confirm which of the posting's details are true.

CBS maintains that while others obtained the trade secrets that were leaked by the unnamed individuals, the internet posters engaged in "tortious interference" with the confidentiality agreements that CBS requires employees and contractors to sign.

"Although the defendants are aware that such information constitutes CBS trade secrets and is protected by CBS's confidentiality agreements, the defendants actively encourage and induce persons to provide confidential information in breach of those agreements." The suit points specifically to a posting made on the website of a user who goes by the pseudonym Ross Barnett. "If you have any information about any show or a contestant you can e-mail 'The Game', Confidentiality is guaranteed."

CBS seeks an injunction stopping further disclosure of trade secrets as well as unspecified damages from those who aided in the publishing. It also seeks damages from the unnamed individuals who breached CBS's confidentiality agreement.

In the suit, CBS outlines the damage that leaks cause, noting that disclosures give competitors an advantage and hurt the buzz created around its shows. "Unauthorized disclosures diminish the interest of both the mainstream and trade media in the airing of a new episode," CBS said.

CBS makes an effort in the lawsuit to say it is not trying to step on the First Amendment.

"By this action, CBS does not seek to discourage communication protected by the free-speech guarantees of the United States and California constitutions," CBS said in the suit. "These constitutionally protected freedoms, however, do not extend to defendants' unlawful practice of misappropriating and disseminating trade secrets acquired through the deliberate violation of known duties of confidentiality."

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Guest Anonymous

Wow -- wondering what the posts are now. I wonder if that was the real purpose -- get people interested.

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Guest ranster627
Thanks for putting this article out there, Unknown! As you know, I have very strong opinions regarding this mess. But I need to cool down, go have a cigarette and grab a beer or something.

I'm totally ticked off w/ CBS for taking action against our online friends. That's all I can say for now, but I'll be back after a brief intermission.

Gotta find that soapbox....Where did I put that darn thing?

I sooooooo agree! And most amusing to me in the article was that it would give an edge to competitors ... I thought Survivors were in the wild? When did they get Internet access????

If anything, you would think that CBS would pay the spoilers because it adds to their fan base and appeals to a specific group!

I can't get on the soap box because I am too short so I will wave a flag in support in the audience!

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Guest Anonymous

Wasn't sure I should post that -- kinda non-topical lol

I have to say reading a bit of the site that I like Morty's a whole lot. I find some of what I read a bit ... crude.

I still wonder though if this little bit of news is completely true. Googling it doesn't produce anything useful.

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Guest ranster627
I don't have a lot to add, for once. Just that I agree I am outraged. Message Boards have been and always will be about talking, sharing, and yes, posting spoliers.

I am shocked that Mersaydeez has been targeted. Mersaydeez had signed up here before March 15, heretofore known as Black Tuesday. Cappy has quoted/given credit to Mersaydeez many times in his Spoilers thread.

I hope CBS gets a big slap in the face over this. Just my not so humble opinion.

I wonder how CBS's concern over those "disseminating information" could affect sites like this if they notice the spoiler threads? Just a thought ... best to be prepared?

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Guest Anonymous

Does anyone have a link to the actual notice? Just curious -- but as Ranster says, it may be worth while to affirm the claim that they are suing.

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Guest conniejoe
"CBS has filed a civil complaint against Mersaydeez, Callmecrazee, Wezzie, and Ross Barnett who we believe stole CBS's trade secrets," CBS said in its statement. "We believe that some of these individuals solicited information about unreleased information about the CBS Survivor show from employees who violated their confidentiality agreements with CBS by providing details that were later posted on the Internet."

Over at Sucks it looks like Wezzie and Mersaydeez are taking this with great humor. And the rest of their board are as irreverant as usual. Good for them!

"Although the defendants are aware that such information constitutes CBS trade secrets and is protected by CBS's confidentiality agreements, the defendants actively encourage and induce persons to provide confidential information in breach of those agreements." The suit points specifically to a posting made on the website of a user who goes by the pseudonym Ross Barnett. "If you have any information about any show or a contestant you can e-mail 'The Game', Confidentiality is guaranteed."

You've got to be kidding me! Ross Barnett didn't do anything that 100's of us haven't done ourselves. We are well within our rights to solicit for confidential spoiler info. The ultimate dream for those of us in the spoiler community is to be the one who gets access to the season's "deep throat". CBS can't dictate what we do on the web and they know it. They're just trying to put the hammer down on these four Sucks posters in the hopes that one of them will squeal and tell them who the inside informant is.

In the suit, CBS outlines the damage that leaks cause, noting that disclosures give competitors an advantage and hurt the buzz created around its shows. "Unauthorized disclosures diminish the interest of both the mainstream and trade media in the airing of a new episode," CBS said.

On the contrary, spoilers don't diminish interest....They generate MORE interest. CBS better rethink their stance. This whole legal action scenario could backfire on them big time. Without accurate spoilers, the whole online Survivor community might just disappear.

Ok...I'm getting off my soap box for now, but I may have more to say later.

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Can anyone verify that letter is real...on there web site I read two posts claiming the letter to be a fake.

I can't imagine CBS going after one site, considering like Conniejoe said all the sites do the same thing..

I would love some proof on this...anyone have any?

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Guest conniejoe

As both Spooky and Nawlins voiced concern over this article, I have been in search of verifying it's authenticity too. I haven't found anything yet. I've been over at the Times, the NY Times, CBS ... no luck yet.

It very well could be a hoax, but a expertly done, elaborate one if so! Before I burst a blood vessel over the article's message, I'm going to need to see some proof that it's true.

I love these kind of searches but it may take awhile.

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Guest cappy

Oh... what is this world coming to these days. I say its a fake, created by somebody who apparently doesnt like spoilers and is doing anything to stop it at all costs by scaring the people who are posting them.

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Guest Anonymous

It just smells hoax. Why would they sue anyone for using the info that they've leaked?! Why would spoilers suddenly become illegal. If someone from the network wasn't giving out the spoilers there would be no way to get anything on the show.

Think of it -- these people are on an undisclosed location. I don't think anyone has the time, the effort, or the money to hop on their yacht, head out to an unknown island and sneak recordings amid the staff and cast of the show -- so where else do these things come from? Yes, they hide the spoilers well -- and so those, like our dear Cappy, who know where to search for them can, but most of us can't. But the bottom line is -- CBS has got to be the source of the spoilers!!

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Guest cappy

Right Spooky. If this thing is right, which I doubt, then CBS is setting themselves up because where would spoilers come except for the producers. It has to be somebody from the network because if so, there would be no spoilers because nobody else knows this type of information.

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Guest conniejoe

Unknown - Don't be embarrassed! It sure looks authentic to me. If I would have seen if first, I would have posted it myself.

I haven't found anything yet. (Checked the various Times papers, the AP, CBS press releases, to name of few...) But it occurs to me that this could be an article in progress. Someone over at Sucks mentioned that this wasn't supposed to be leaked for 6 days yet. Of course, it could all be just a joke, but then again, it might not be.

When Merseydeez showed up over at Sucks w/ her spoilers, everyone was mean and suspicious of her in the beginning. It wasn't until her predictions turned out to be true that ppl accepted her. It's the same reaction I'm seeing from this article....the old Trust No One mentality. But, sadly, this whole internet is one big X-File, so it's not surprising.

At this time though, we should assume that it's fake until proven otherwise. If there is, indeed, a lawsuit being filed, it's a matter of public record. Of course, the web databases charge you money to access that info. But I know a guy who can get in there and look for us. I'm just waiting for him to call me back. I'll let ya'll know what his search comes up with.

Now, until the phone rings, I could sure use a refreshing beverage. King, I'll take a bourbon...neat. :twisted:

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Im sorry, i should of verified if it was true or not first. :oops:

No need to be sorry,,,If I would of seen it I would of posted it, I started thinking about it after I read something else and that's why I questioned it...but I would of done exactly what you did...Please don;t be embarressed it still might turn out to be something and then you were the first one on it...lol

easter.gif

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Guest ranster627
Im sorry, i should of verified if it was true or not first. :oops:

I appreciate the post, true or not, as I count on all of you to find these tantalizing tidbits! Good work really Unknown ... gave some food for thought and interesting discussion!

Well Done!

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Guest conniejoe

I'm taking the pie in the face for this one. Unknown "pm'd" the article to me prior to posting it. I felt the article had merit and suggested it be posted, so I take responsibility for this red herring. This is, indeed, a hoax and I should have known better. (I am a veteran of Sucks, so imagine what idiot I feel like right now!)

To tell the truth, I have been waiting for CBS to do just this type of thing, so I let my emotion over-rule my logic regarding this subject. I sure wish it was true! I wasted a perfectly good rant!

Unknown, I am sorry that I led you down this road. You do a fantastic job in getting interesting Survivor info for this board and I don't want you to be discouraged. Chin up, good friend!

And apologies to you all for the wild goose chase!...though it WAS an interesting diversion, wasn't it?!

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Thanks. :oops:

I just taught it was true since i didnt think anybody would take the time to make it look so real!

I 6 days comment was because in 6 days(five now) its April Fools Day :roll:

Ranster- :lol: Yeah i taught we were all going to start a CBS strike!

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Guest cappy

Figured as much.

Please note - This thread is locked for the purpose of archiving.

Thank You

Mod Team

Edited by moderator to add the above quote.

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