Big Brother vs The Glass House - Is the Lawsuit Merited?
The new ABC show The Glass House has CBS up in arms over a potential Big Brother copyright infringement. All things considered, they might actually have a good case against ABC. Some people believe that there are a few too many similarities to simply disregard it. ABC is disregarding it, though. The Glass House premieres on June 18th at 10pm est whether CBS likes it or not... unless they can get it shut down.
The biggest red herring, to me, is the fact that ABC has people working on this project that used to work on Big Brother. It's not just a few people, either. It's a whopping 19 former Big Brother employees, two of which used to be producers on the show. That's pretty significant in my opinion. While ABC says that it has nothing to do with copying Big Brother, CBS believes that it does since the show is so similar to Big Brother. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's usually a duck. Or a very disturbed person.
The premise of the show is identical to Big Brother, if you ignore the mechanics. You have a bunch of strangers living together and two contestants are in danger of being evicted every week. Over time, contestants are weeded out and the last one standing wins the grand prize. Contestants aren't allowed to interact with the outside world aside from what the show allows. Competitions are a big part in determining who's up for eviction. Lets not forget the fact that both shows have live streaming available, though it's actually part of the gameplay in The Glass House instead of a perk for paying subscribers in Big Brother's case.
The voting process is basically the biggest difference and it's what ABC is using to prove that their show isn't ripping off of Big Brother. You see, while it's completely up to the houseguests to decide who stays and who goes in Big Brother, The Glass House relies on votes from the viewers. The only time the houseguests get to influence this is when they vote on one of the people that has to go into limbo, which is the same thing as being nominated for eviction. They can only choose one person from the losing team in a competition and have no control over the other nomination. There's no opportunity for the nominees to take themselves off the block, either.
Is this enough to prove CBS's claim? Well, it's not up to America to vote on this one. CBS told ABC to cease and desist and ABC basically gave them the finger and told them to butt out. So CBS is pushing their case and has sued ABC for millions. Only time will tell, but I would put money on CBS winning the case if ABC doesn't settle.