Second Circuit Finds Media Monitoring Platform Not Protected by Fair Use

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has held that TVEyes, Inc., a media company that continuously monitors the content of more than 1,400 television and radio channels, is not protected by the fair use doctrine, reversing the lower court’s finding of fair use and concluding that TVEyes infringes the copyrighted broadcast of Fox News Network (the plaintiff).


The TVEyes platform records the audiovisual content, imports that content into a database, and enables its clients, for $500 per month, to view, archive, download, and email to others ten‐minute clips. TVEyes also copies the closed‐captioned text of the content it imports, allowing its clients to search for the clips that they want by keyword, as well as by date and time.

The court indicated that TVEyes’s re‐distribution of Fox’s content serves a transformative purpose where it enables TVEyes’s clients to isolate from the vast corpus of Fox’s content the material that is responsive to their interests, and to access that material in a convenient manner. But because that re‐distribution makes available to TVEyes’s clients virtually all of Fox’s copyrighted content that the clients wish to see and hear, and because it deprives Fox of revenue that properly belongs to the copyright holder, the platform’s copyright infringement was found indefensible under the fair use doctrine.