Television

RDF Media sues Fox over reality series ripoff

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/05/02/Fox_0.jpg?itok=9jVMdlF1

MUMBAI: British independent television production company RDF Media has filed a lawsuit against US broadcaster Fox.

The lawsuit has accused Fox Broadcasting and Rocket Science Laboratories of ripping off RDF's original Wife Swap reality television series to create their own competing show, Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy.

The suit accuses Fox and Rocket Science, which jointly produce Trading Spouses with both copyright and trade dress infringement, as well as unfair competition. It claims that they attempted to capitalise on the success of RDF's Wife Swap by willfully and illegally developing Trading Spouses-- that incorporated all of the expressive elements and trade dress of Wife Swap.

Versions of Wife Swap have aired on British television since January 2003 and in the US on ABC since September 2004.

RDF programmes director Stephen Lambert who created and served as executive producer on Wife Swap had the following cutting remarks to make. "In our view, this is the most clear-cut case of copyright theft in the history of the reality genre. It has been widely reported that Fox has long pursued a strategy of ripping off other people's intellectual property. RDF intends to take full advantage of the law to put a stop to it."

The lawsuit states that Fox's parent News Corp COO Peter Chernin told Fox executives last year that he had seen the British version of Wife Swap during a visit to London and that "it was the show everyone was talking about in the United Kingdom."

After discovering that ABC had acquired the US rights to the show, the suit alleges that Fox and Rocket Science executives decided to copy its format and trade dress in order to to confuse viewers and mislead them into watching Trading Spouses rather than Wife Swap US.

In both Wife Swap and Trading Spouses two wives with contrasting values and lifestyles exchange spouses and families for a period of seven and ten days. During the first half of the trade, each wife must abide by the rules of the departing wife covering all aspects of household management, from chore delegation to budgeting, from food preparation to child discipline.

During the second half of the trade, each wife imposes her own rules on her new household. At the end of the swap, the two wives meet for the first time and share what they have learned about themselves, their spouses, and each other during the swap.

This is not the first time this year that Fox has been sued over a reality show. Earlier this year Dreamworks and Mark Burnett had sued the Rupert Murdoch owned broadcaster for stealing an idea for a boxing show. DreamWorks and Mark Burnett Productions had claimed ideas from their show, The Contender were stolen by Fox who produced The Next Great Champ. While Burnett lost the suit it didn't matter. Next Great Champ's low ratings and early exit made the suit a non-issue.

Coming back to the RDF suit at the annual meeting of the Television Critics Association in Los Angeles last July, Fox entertainment president Gail Berman acknowledged that Fox had specifically decided to develop a show similar to Wife Swap.

Meanwhile Daily Variety says that RDF is looking for at least $18 million in damages. The Hollywood Reporter has put the figure at $54 million. Unlike most reality show legal battles, both these shows faired well in the ratings. The burden will be on RDF Media to show there were stolen ideas that resulted in financial damage.

There could be further litigation in the near future. In January Fox and ABC will come out with shows involving nannies who discipline children. ABC rolls out Supernanny, a British-inspired reality show about a UK nanny who straightens out-of-control American children. Fox's Nanny 911, will be a British-produced reality show about a team of UK nannies who straighten out etc etc.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/24/FIFA-Story.jpg?itok=-v_bg075
U-20 & U-17 FIFA '19 bidding for host launched, Sony to telecast U-17 in seven countries

Broadcasters, OTT/VoD platforms and digital companies are looking forward to entertaining and engaging viewers by providing the best adrenalin. Sports lately is the genre which is in vogue. Leading broadcast and streaming companies are seeking out avenues and sporting event opportunities to keep...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/24/Brooks_Meek-Anthony_Moore.jpg?itok=5ynTynEr
India among prospects to train at NBA Academy

MUMBAI: The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Basketball Australia (BA) has announced the official opening of The NBA Global Academy, an elite basketball training center at BA’s Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. The NBA Global Academy will serve as the...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/24/Prannoy_Roy-Radhika_Roy.jpg?itok=U3wkYBz0
NDTV resolutions confirm re-appointment of Roys & sale of subsidiaries

MUMBAI: NDTV, in a communique to the secretary, BSE Limited, and assistant VP, Listing Department, National Stock Exchange of India, signed by the company secretary Navneet Raghuvanshi, confirmed that four special resolutions as mentioned in the Postal Ballot Notice dated 11 May, 2017, have been...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/24/Carlos-Amoros.jpg?itok=nKVSW3ay
Tripleplay to provide Atlético de Madrid stadium tech solution

MUMBAI: Tripleplay, a leader in the development of Digital Signage, IPTV and Video Streaming Solutions, has been chosen by Atlético de Madrid to implement its technology at the brand new, 68,000 capacity, Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid this July.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/23/ntony_0.jpg?itok=s8hztsgm
Roy C. Anthony joins Ventuz Technology as VP - creative development & ops

Roy C. Anthony, a leading figure in the digital creative world, has joined Ventuz Technology AG. For over 20 years, Roy has been a force of innovation in fields ranging from VR, film, event and staging environments. Pushing boundaries in large scale interactive immersive display technologies, he...

Television TV Channels People
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/23/zee.jpg?itok=em5ZBwe8
Zee Cafe targets 20-40-yr-olds with BBC First drama

MUMBAI: Zee’s English entertainment channel Zee Café has partnered with BBC Worldwide to bring award-winning premium British drama to its audience. Starting from 26 June, the channel will host BBC First content block with 11 new shows set to air every weeknight at 10pm time slot. The channel has an...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/23/Dhimant%20Parekh.jpg?itok=7Qv1DKpo
HistoryTV18: #BossWomen to tell stories of Indian women

NEW DELHI: #BossWomen, a weekly video series showcasing the stories of extraordinary Indian women, has commenced telecast on HistoryTV18. The programme is part of a first-of-its-kind digital collaboration with disruptive tech-media platfvorm The Better India. The first episode is on with the story...

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/23/DD-800x800.jpg?itok=mThViP0X
Doordarshan: Soaps & travelogues make Arun Prabha shortlist, presentations early July

NEW DELHI: The producers of the 390 proposals in nine genres which have been shortlisted for soon-to-be-launched DD Aruna Prabha for the northeast have been asked to make their presentations in DD Headquarters in Delhi from 6 to 10 July. All the shortlisted productions are in the commissioned...

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/06/23/Virat-Kohli-800x800.jpg?itok=8Zi6rB7w
UCWeb: Cricket viewership soars 230%, Lucknow, Pune, Bhopal, Delhi & Mumbai see max traction

NEW DELHI: Consumption of Cricket-related content exceeded 0.75 billion on UCWeb Platforms - UC News and UC Browser, for the latest edition of IPL 2017 and the recently-concluded ICC Champions Trophy 2017. According to a data report titled Insights into India’s Cricket Frenzy released by Alibaba...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories