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Green v Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand

[1989] 2 All ER 1056

Case summary last updated at 28/01/2020 16:57 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case Green v Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand

C was presenter and author of highly successful UK television show called “Opportunity Knocks”. Show was a talent contest, and had several memorable catchphrases and gimmicks. D broadcast a similar show with same name in New Zealand. C argued that copyright subsisted in the dramatic format of the show, and therefore show was protected as a ‘dramatic work’. Held:
·        No copyright subsists:
1)     Subject matter of copyright claimed for the ‘dramatic format’ is too uncertain.
2)     In addition the features alleged to constitute ‘dramatic format’ of show are not capable of performance
-        They are unrelated to each other except as accessories in presentation of some other dramatic or musical performance (e.g. a song or act)
·        Thus appears from this case that no copyright can subsist in a TV format.

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