December 2, 2013
By Shreya Gopi
On November 13, 2013, the Dutch court ruled in favor of Eyeworks by rejecting Banijay’s claims in relation to potential infringement of their sports event programme TV Total Turmspringen (Stars in Danger) by Eyeworks’ entertainment format Celebrity Splash. The ruling dictates that Celebrity Splash does not infringe upon Banijay’s rights.
The court confirmed that while both programmes are based on one theme – celebrities diving – the ”elaboration and design” of this idea are ”very different” in both programmes. Based on current EU legislation, the judgment applies to the Netherlands, where the case was presented, and extends across the European Union.
The court also confirmed that Banijay’s new show, Stars in Danger: High Diving, is a different format from TV Total Turmspringen.
Jeff Goldman, MD Eyeworks Distribution: ”From our perspective, it was always clear that not only was Celebrity Splash an original, unique entertainment format but that in turn Banijay simply capitalised on our success by copying the overall look & feel, as well as several key elements, of our format. Up until Celebrity Splash’s instantaneous success, Banijay had failed to license their diving sports event programme TV Total Turmspringen anywhere for eight years. As a result of our success, Banijay modified their event sports diving element into a “new show” – known as Stars in Danger: High Diving with striking similarities to Eyeworks’ original format. Banijay created confusion in the market place as well as sold this “new show” into several territories resulting in their profiting on Eyeworks’ success while at the same time undermining Eyeworks’ ability to fully exploit Celebrity Splash in those same territories.”
Eyeworks will now consider pursuing further legal action against Banijay for damages associated with their actions.