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Copyright Queries



Television formats and copyright

By ucylcjh, on 27 September 2017

Are the formats of television shows like “The Voice” protected by some kind of intellectual property right? The answer seems to be that in some countries they are protected and in others not. The UK seems to be  one of the latter. UK copyright law has a finite list of the categories which are protected by copyright, listed in Section 1 of the Copyright , Designs and Patents Act 1988. Reality TV and quiz show formats don’t fit into any of them.

TV formats involve big money and often give rise to tussles over ownership, such as the disagreements about “The Voice” which are described by Hollywood Reporter The contrasting treatment of TV formats in Italian law and a recent case before the Italian Supreme Court are discussed by Eleonora Rosati in an interesting post on the IPCAT website.