2ND UPDATE 4PM: ABC has issued the following statement in response of CBS’ filing: “We believe there is no merit to this lawsuit. The differences between Glass House and Big Brother are both fundamental and obvious, ranging from Glass House’s interactive elements and audience participation to its deployment of cutting edge technologies.
UPDATE, 3:05 PM: CBS claims in the lawsuit (read it here) that The Glass House employs “at least 19” former producers and staff from Big Brother, and details them all by name in today’s filing. CBS is suing for copyright infringement, trade-secret misappropriation, unfair competition, breach of contract and conspiracy among other claims, calling Glass House “a carbon copy” of its Big Brother. As for dollar amounts, the network is asking for $500,000 “for each of the Individual Defendants’ acts in violation of the non-disclosure agreements” — with multiple clauses, those totals add up fast — in addition to other damages and legal fees. “CBS therefore brings this action to obtain preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and restitution, and to recover compensatory and punitive damages.”
PREVIOUS, 1:45 PM: A week after CBS fired a warning shot with a letter to ABC threatening to take legal action if the network proceeds with its recently announced summer reality series The Glass House, the eye network today filed a lawsuit against the Disney-owned broadcast networks. I haven’t seen the filing yet, but last week’s letter noted that Glass House “exposes ABC to liability, including damages and injunctive relief, for violation of the Copyright Act, including breach of non-disclosure agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets.” CBS is basing its case on the fact that the concept of Glass House is very similar to its veteran Big Brother. The network also claims that the ABC series employs at least 18 former members of CBS’ Big Brother production staff, many of whom have signed confidentiality agreements with CBS, which the network argues would be breached in their work for Glass House.