MasterChef, Kitchen Nightmares, Restaurant
Revolution, Recipe to Riches: just a few of the reality TV
cooking shows bombarding viewers in an attempt to satiate their
never ending appetites for watching someone pour their heart and
soul into a dish that evokes memories of their
mum/grandma/homeland, only to have it savaged by a D-list celebrity
Channel Nine's latest attempt to hook viewers is
Hotplate. Unfortunately, Hotplate has quickly got
itself into hot water. Channel Seven, the producer of My
Kitchen Rules, is suing Channel Nine in the Federal Court for
copyright infringement because it says thatHotplate is a
copycat of MKR. Seven is arguing that the format of MKR (which
consists of the combination and series of incidents, plots, images
and sounds) is original and that Hotplateis reproducing
There's no doubt that the formats of MKR and Hotplate are
similar. Each show has teams of two competing against other teams
of two while being judged by two industry guys while the other
contestants make catty comments. So what? All of these shows follow
the same recipe for success: competition, judgement and victory.
And that's why we can't get enough.
The basic idea around copyright is simple: you can't
copyright an idea and you can't get copyright protection over
something which isn't original. So, even if Seven can show that
all of the unoriginal reality TV elements combined make the format
of MKR original, the real difficulty will be showing that
Hotplatehas copied more than just the standard reality TV
So far, the Federal Court has denied Seven an urgent injunction
to restrain Nine from broadcastingHotplate. However, the
case continues and we're glued to our screens waiting to see if
anyone will be sent home.
Meanwhile, Restaurant Revolution has tanked. Such a
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The Ugg boots case revolves around who holds the trade mark rights to the word 'Ugg' in relation to sheepskin boots.
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