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Is it Patentable?
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   Television Show
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Isaac
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Re: Television Show
« Reply #5 on: Dec 5th, 2005, 7:17pm »
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Jim, I agree generally with your point about the idea vs expression dichotomy.  While the principle is valid, it may be difficult to apply it to reach a conclusion that some level of abstraction is the cutoff in a particular case.
 
But that said, there are US and UK cases suggesting that formats for television shows are on the unprotectable side of the line, while Brazil may be an example of a country that holds otherwise.
The most recent US case involved a TV show allegedly copying the format of Survivor.
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Isaac
JimIvey
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Re: Television Show
« Reply #6 on: Dec 5th, 2005, 8:03pm »
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Hi Isaac,
 
I didn't mean to suggest that there's a broader scope of protection specifically for TV shows.  I just bristle at the assertion that ideas aren't protectable without qualification as to what that really means.
 
What I think is kind of funny is when I say I don't understand the expression/idea dichotomy and the person I'm talking to acts like English isn't my first language -- talking louder and more slowly -- "I-DEEE-UUUHS are not protectable.  ECKKKSSSPRESSSHHHUUUUUUNS of the idea are protectable."  Oh, when you say it like I'm stupid, it makes sense!  Wink
 
Regards.
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James D. Ivey
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Isaac
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Re: Television Show
« Reply #7 on: Dec 6th, 2005, 12:45am »
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I think you understand the dichotomy well enough.  It's just that unless you have some reason based on case law or persuasive argument to say that x is expresson and y is the underlying idea, then citing the rule may be just an attempt to disguise a mere assertion as an argument by labelling.
 
But that said, there is a lot of case law on the subject, so that often saying something is idea and not expression is enough at least between people having familiarity with enough of the law.
For example if the underlying idea is something like telephone numbers in an alphabetical listing, we know where to draw the line.
There is also a bit of help in some cases from 17 USC 102(b) which lists a number of things which are not protectable by copyright.
 
Of course 102(b) explicitly says that ideas are not protectable by copyright.
« Last Edit: Dec 6th, 2005, 1:29am by Isaac » IP Logged

Isaac
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