In this case, Fox News sued a company called TVEyes, claiming the company’s text-searchable database of television and radio content—used by journalists, scholars, and political campaigns to study and monitor the national media—infringed its copyright in its programming. The district court acknowledged that the service is generally a fair use of copyrighted material, but then, in a second ruling, held that some of the features of the TVEyes database could facilitate infringement, including the ability to share links or search by date and time. In a departure from established legal precedent, the court ruled that this was enough to defeat TVEyes’ fair use defense. TVEyes appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In an amicus brief, EFF and its partners argued that the law does not impose liability on a toolmaker based on the possibility that users will misuse a tool, except in limited circumstances not present here and not even alleged by Fox News.
Fox News v. TVEyes