Despite a judge’s order in July denying an injunction for the ABC show, CBS is going forward with its copyright infringement and trade secrets violation lawsuit. CBS amended its suit with 10 additional items detailing similarities in characters, plot, themes, mood, dialogue, setting, sequence of events and more. CBS claims ABC didn’t just take stock ideas or “scenes a faire,” but “stole every aspect of Big Brother’s tangible creative expression.”
From the amended complaint:
“In fact, the two series are virtually identical. For example, both shows are reality television competitions in which approximately a dozen non-celebrity individuals of mixed gender and ethnicity live in a large studio-bound ‘house,’ physically isolated from the outside world; occupants form strategic alliances and participate in challenges in an effort to win perks and survive eviction votes; the narrative is an unfolding dramatic story; the last contestant remaining wins a fixed prize; and viewer input online and via text messages impacts the unpredictable, constantly evolving narrative.”
Gary Feess, federal judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California, refused CBS’s request to block Glass House in June, which premiered 6/18.
The Glass House follows 14 contestants as they live together and compete for $250,000. Similar to Big Brother, contestants go head-to-head in competitions and will be eliminated weekly. Unlike Big Brother, America has the chance to vote, manipulating different outcomes within the house. So far, ratings haven’t been spectacular.
CBS also targeted showrunner Kenny Rosen. The network previously deposed him for seven hours, but he was instructed not to answer certain questions on the advice of counsel. CBS is looking to find out why Rosen supposedly directed Glass House personnel to “type up” Big Brother’s manuals. CBS asserts that language in Glass House’s internal materials “do in fact lift language from Big Brother’s materials.”