Statement by TV Channel “Ukraine” About Copying The Masked Singer Format by TV Channel “1+1” in the Maskarad (Masquerade) TV Series

Published Tue, 6 October 2020, 13:15

On 03 October 2020 at 8:20 p.m., Maskarad was aired by TV channel “1+1”, in which all key format elements of the world-famous format of The Masked Singer were illegally used, the rights to adaptation of which TV channel “Ukraine” bought from Fremantle in the spring of 2020.

TRK Ukraine LLC, as the right owner of The Masked Singer format in the territory of Ukraine, believes that the piracy behaviour of TV channel “1+1” in relation to The Masked Singer format violates the rights and legitimate interests of TV channel “Ukraine”. The issue of violation of the rights of TRK Ukraine LLC will be brought to court. TV channel “Ukraine” will also apply to the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA) to seek protection of its rights.

Open-faced plagiarism on the part of the national broadcaster, which lost the open battle to TV channel “Ukraine” for buying the rights to adapt the successful international format, undermines the principles of fair competition in the domestic audiovisual market, destroys the legal framework for building a civilized copyright market, and Ukraine’s international reputation as a country where broadcasters respect and protect intellectual property rights.

Given the unprecedented copyright infringement by 1+1 in relation to the successful international format and the reputation risks that this act poses to the state of Ukraine, TV channel “Ukraine” appeals to Oleksandr Tkachenko, the sitting Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Honorary President and long-time head of 1+1 Media Group, to explain his public position with regard to TV channel “1+1” behaviour to copying the format and the effects of such behaviour for the international image of the country.

For reference: Three major TV channels – Ukraine, 1+1 and STB – competed to purchase the rights to adapt the world-famous format of The Masked Singer in Ukraine from Fremantle. TV channel “Ukraine” won this battle and acquired the rights in April 2020. At the same time, at the stage of announcing the show, Fremantle was concerned about the possible copying of the format of The Masked Singer by TV channel “1+1” and addressed 1+1 Media with an official request about the distinctions of the show 1+1 plans to produce. To respond to these concerns, TV channel 1+1 assured that it was producing a different format product.

 

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