BBC Thinks Only It Can Have TV Shows About People Dancing; Sues Berlusconi For 'Porn' Version

from the can't-own-ideas dept

When I heard that the BBC was suing Silvio Berlusconi's Mediaset, just knowing the two players involved, I expected to side with the BBC. But on this one I'm left scratching my head over the BBC's ridiculous claim. Apparently, the BBC thinks that it owns the idea of a reality TV show about dancing, a la "Dancing With The Stars" here in the US. In the UK, the BBC apparently runs a similar show called Strictly Come Dancing. Mediaset has apparently launched a new show, Baila! Everyone seems to admit that MediaSet didn't even copy Strictly Come Dancing. Instead, Mediaset points out that it actually adapted a South American dance show "Bailando Por Un Sueno (Dancing For A Dream)," which is different... in that it includes "scantily-clad dancers," and has even included "a model [who] danced topless and simulated sex."

Silvio Berlusconi's son, Pier Silvio Berluscoi, apparently responded by saying that it's "Ok to copy ideas" in television, and he's right. Copyright applies to expression, not ideas. And, even in this case, the ideas appear to be different -- in some ways very different. So, I don't get it. Does the BBC really think that it can own the idea of people dancing on a television show? It seems clear that some of this is to protect the BBC's relationship with a competing Italian TV network, which did license the BBC's show -- but still this seems like a gross overreach by the BBC.


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  1.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 2:20pm

    This just highlights the hypocrisy within Berlusconi: on the one hand, Berlusconi believes that he should own all rights to any media he produces. On the other, himself and his family (who have profited from locking up entertainment) have freely copied another format-show.

    I disagree with the BBC on this lawsuit, but then it's:

    1) publically funded (via the TV license); and
    2) a really dumbass move on the Beeb's part.

    I think the major problem is that the Strictly Come Dancing format is already licensed in Italy, so making a softcore version, while different, may breach the licenses already involved.

    The major issue I have with the Beeb's suit here is that the basis for new culture is, in fact, softcore versions of old culture.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 3:22pm

    Re:

    This just highlights the hypocrisy within copyright supporters: on the one hand, they believe that they should own all rights to any media they produce. On the other, them and their families (who have profited from locking up entertainment) have freely copied anything they can get their grubby paws on.



    fixed

     

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  3.  
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    Grae (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 4:37pm

    And guess how popular this show is going to get now that a lot more people are hearing about it? I'm betting the male audience for this format will likely rise.

     

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  4.  
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    Palmyra (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 7:15pm

    Sitting here Sitting here scratching MY head - So Dick Clark's American Bandstand back in the '50s to the late 80s would also be in violation of the BBC's copyright? And what about that Champagne guy that my grandmother watched?

    "I'd give it a 93 Dick, you can really dance to it." :)

     

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  5.  
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    Palmyra (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 7:16pm

    It would be nice if we could edit our post!

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 11:05pm

    False Assertion of Copyright

    What happened to the idea vs expression dichotomy? Only the expression can be copyrighted. If ideas were allowed to be copyrighted then practically every TV show ever created would get sued by somebody. Show about dancing? The estate of Fred Astaire would like a word. Isn't this a false assertion of copyright by the Beeb?

     

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  7.  
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    The eejit (profile), Sep 22nd, 2011 @ 11:06pm

    Re:

    Again, the problem isn't that it's been done before; it's that there's already a license in place for Strictly to be shown in Italy. IO still think it's a pretty dumb move on Auntie's part, but if I squint, I can see their logic.

     

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  8.  
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    mike allen (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 12:31am

    BBC wrong on this though I can see where they come from. but then they also think they should be the only people allowed to broadcast (still)in the UK.

     

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  9.  
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    Ben (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 4:38am

    Good use of money

    Since the BBC is funded by the public, I fail to see why they are pursuing this

     

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    Scooters (profile), Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 6:51am

    Streisand Effect has an adverse outcome.

    The US version of these dancing shows suck.

    That is all.

     

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    frosty840, Sep 23rd, 2011 @ 7:16am

    Re:

    To be fair, Dick Clark's American Bandstand (1952) was predated by the original Come Dancing (1949) TV show by three years.

    But yeah, TV show concept licensing looks like a very silly thing to me...

     

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  12.  
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    aikiwolfie (profile), Sep 24th, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Format Rights?

    I think this will come down to the format rights for the shows. If the Italian show infringes on the BBC's format rights then the BBC could have a case. As dumb as that sounds. I think the BBC are being really stupid here.

     

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