dimanche 17 novembre 2013

Eyeworks successful in Celebrity Splash Alleged Infringement Legal Battle

Last year, Patty Brard was one of the contestant of "Sterren Springen op Zaterdag" (aka "Celebrity Splash"). SBS 6's celebrity diving competition produced by Eyeworks. The video of her infamous dive was a highly covered media event and was used to sell the format worldwide (see news posted on March 24th 2013). Recently, Eyeworks was involved in a format dispute with Banijay International over the high-rated TV show. On November 13th, the Dutch TV production company won the lawsuit and posted this press release on its website:
"Court rejects all claims proposed by Banijay.
It was announced today that on 13 November 2013 the Dutch court ruled in favor of Eyeworks by rejecting all of Banijay’s claims in relation to potential infringement of their sports event program "TV Total Turmspringen" on Eyeworks hit International entertainment format "Celebrity Splash". The ruling dictates that "Celebrity Splash" did not and does not, in any way, infringe upon any of Banijay’s rights as they have claimed.
The court confirmed that while both programs are based on one theme (celebrities diving) the ”elaboration and design” of this idea are ”very different” in both programs leading to the conclusion that there is no infringement on Banijay’s rights. This conclusion further led to the court ruling that based on current EU legislation the judgment applies not only to the Netherlands where the case was presented but also the entire European Union (where Banijay attempted to extend their claim).
The court went on to confirm the fact that the current ”new show” Banijay has been marketing and selling ("Stars in Danger: High Diving") is a different format than "TV Total Turmspringen".
Jeff Goldman, MD Eyeworks Distribution: ”From our perspective, it was always clear that not only was "Celebrity Splash" an original, unique Entertainment format but that in turn Banijay simply capitalized on our success by copying the overall look & feel, as well as several key elements, of our format. Up until Celebrity Splash’s instantaneous success, Banijay had failed to license their diving sports event program "TV Total Turmspringen" anywhere for eight years. As a result of our success, Banijay modified their event sports diving element into a “new show” - known as “Stars in Danger: High Diving” with striking similarities to Eyeworks original format. Banijay created confusion in the market place as well as sold this “new show” into several territories resulting in their profiting on Eyeworks’ success while at the same time undermining Eyeworks’ ability to fully exploit "Celebrity Splash" in those same territories.”
Eyeworks will now consider pursuing further legal action against Banijay for damages associated with their actions, and in the meantime, will continue its successful exploitation of the "Celebrity Splash" format.
"Celebrity Splash" is the hit International entertainment format from Eyeworks. Originally launched in the Netherlands in 2012, the format has been sold in 20 countries, airing in over 43, and seen hugely impressive premieres and runs in, amongst others, the UK (ITV), France (TF1), Spain (Antena 3), the United States (ABC), China (Zhejiang), Finland (Nelonen), Argentina (Telefe), and most recently in Belgium (VTM)."
Source: Eyeworks, Televizier.nl

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