Copyright

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
biggest loser, execution, ideas



Woman Who Claimed Ownership Of 'Biggest Loser' Idea Declared A Loser By The Courts

from the so-sorry dept

It seems that every time there's a really successful book, movie or TV show that comes along, someone else comes along and claims that it was really their idea, and demands cash for it. Of course, in almost every one of these cases, they don't seem to realize that lots of people had the same idea, and there's a huge difference between idea and execution. Instead, they assume that only they could have had the idea, and anything similar -- which involved actual successful execution -- must owe them money. Thankfully, the courts are generally pretty good about tossing these cases out. The latest involves someone who claims she came up with the idea for the reality TV show The Biggest Loser which she called Phat Farm. The legal process hasn't been kind to her. One court pointed out that she never actually registered for a copyright on the Phat Farm treatment, and now another court has noted that there really aren't that many similarities between the ideas. Another case dismissed.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2011 @ 8:45pm

    So that we can get this out of the way ahead of time, let me present a common techdirt troll argument and my response.

    "See everyone, Mike is in favor of theft. He wants it to be legal for anyone to go into your house and steal your furniture, money, and jewelery."

    No, that's not what Mike is saying. He's saying that, just because someone thought of an idea doesn't mean that they should be able to stop other people from using the same idea, especially when others likely came up with the idea independently.

    Now hopefully we don't have to deal with this argument later on, at least not in this thread.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Brendan (profile), 1 Mar 2011 @ 9:00pm

    But...

    ...is she the BIGGEST loser?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Evil Timmy, 1 Mar 2011 @ 9:18pm

    And there's no way she was inspired by...

    ...the clothing label Phat Farm, which has been around since 1992.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2011 @ 9:46pm

      Re: And there's no way she was inspired by...

      The judge no doubt saved her from a lot of time, energy, and money wasted in a court in the future. For if he HAD found in her favor, she'd probably be sued by Phat Farm for aspiring to infringe on their trademark.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2011 @ 9:32pm

    The large majority of "it was my idea" cases prove to be without merit.

    Keep in mind, however, that every once in a while a meritorious case is presented and prevails. A case here in Orlando a few years back was one such case. Disney was pitched an idea in confidence, rejected the idea, and then later announced a new project modeled precisely on the confidential pitch.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ashlie, 16 Mar 2011 @ 3:55pm

    Jillian Michaels

    For Women, Men, Bloggers, Fitness gurus, and fans of Jillian Michaels - this video is a hilarious mash-up of personal training for the everyday blogger.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eNq7XlVtfU

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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