In one of two recent format disputes, the Banijay Group has won a ruling to stop broadcaster SBS and The Voice creator Talpa Media from using the title The Next Popstar for an upcoming Dutch talent show. Banijay objected to the name, saying it too closely resembled its own format, Popstars. That show, which has spawned versions in more than 50 countries, ran for three years on SBS’ SBS6, the same channel that The Next Popstar was targeting in the Netherlands. In its decision, the District Court of The Hague prohibited Talpa and SBS from using the name going forward based on an article of the Paris Convention relating to well-known trademarks. Banijay recently acquired a majority stake in Australian production company Screentime, which in 1999 created the Popstars format that served as a precursor to the Idol series of singing competition shows.
Banijay has recently been involved in another format dispute, that one over celebrity diving shows. In October, Fox ordered Stars In Danger: High Diving, based on a Banijay format. Earlier in the month, ABC had ordered Celebrity Splash straight to series. That show is based on Eyeworks’ Dutch format Sterren Springen. Banijay has requested a court injunction against Eyeworks on the grounds of copyright infringement. Banijay and sister company Brainpool, producer of the original Stars In Danger, say their are “approximately 100 similarities” between Celebrity Splash and Stars in Danger.
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