By Edwin Komen
On Friday afternoon, June 15, 2012, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Allen Feess, Central District of California in Los Angeles, denied CBS Broadcasting’s application for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented ABC from airing the premier broadcast of its new reality series “Glass House”. CBS complained that “Glass House” infringed the copyright in its long-running “Big Brother” series. Both featured contestants isolated in a confined space competing for prizes, building alliances and fighting with each other while they are systematically voted out of the competition. Judge Feess described these elements as “commonplace”. In doing so, Judge Feess dealt another blow to the admittedly fragile protection for one of television’s most valued commodities…a popular, highly marketable format capable of being translated and locally re-formatted for domestic consumption in local television markets around the world. The frustration of format owners may have well been summarized by Judge Feess, who observed, “When I first heard of Big Brother, I thought it sounded like Survivor in a house.”
Continue Reading Are Formats The Floor Mats Of Copyright?