Rights to Reality


Reality TV is the new El Dorado, the chairman of the Format Recognition and Protection Group tells The Hollywood Reporter. As in the dot-com heyday, when people were trying to patent, say, the concept of selling hair-dryers online, "We are seeing unscripted formats being pitched that are reduced to just three or four lines," says chairman David Lyle. "The problem is that these are not true formats that can be protected; they are concepts, and this is fraught with potential legal problems." He and others predict the reality sector is about to become a battleground of format-rights disputes. Maybe. What's certain: Many will hope it's a war of attrition.