Of course, we all know that in the long history of Disney, the company has made much of its money by taking
the content of others and repurposing it in cute animated stories. Yet, when it comes to anyone else doing things with Disney's stories or characters, its lawyers are rather vicious in response. In fact, it's Disney's heavy handed lobbying that has helped extend copyright to ever longer terms, just to avoid Mickey Mouse from entering the public domain. Thus, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise, that Disney continues with this double standard in other parts of its business. Reader Comboman sent in the news that a leaked memo from Disney subsidiary ABC suggests that producers look for TV ideas from foreign shows, where the idea can be used without having to pay a license
"As I'm sure you're all aware, foreign formats have increased in popularity as the basis for US television development and production. What is often overlooked, or not fully appreciated, are the complexities associated with negotiating format deals, coupled with the fact that often-times what is appealing in the format may be nothing more than a general underlying premise, which, in and of itself, may be no reason to license the underlying property."
In other words, let's see what we can copy. And, yet, if anyone were to do that with a Disney/ABC property, you can bet that the lawyers would be all over it before you could get very far. But, of course, don't be surprised. It's simply the way Disney/ABC does business: abusing intellectual property laws is perfectly fine when done for its own purposes -- but is the destroyer of everything good when done to