Wednesday, June 28, 2006

ABC-5 Plans To Take Legal Action Against ABS-CBN's "Copycat" Logo

In an article at Manila Bulletin Online, ABC-5 was outraged at an Idol-like logo being shown on ABS-CBN's variety program "ASAP" for their "Champions Showdown" production. The network behind Philippine Idol are considering taking the matter to its legal department as well as to Fremantle Media, the British company that owns the Pop Idol franchise.

As Philippine Idol Updates researches on similar cases, it appears that Fremantle does not take this issue lightly. They are very firm in taking care of their copyright.

Last year, Fremantle Media--together with Fremantle North America and 19TV--sued Panamericana, a Peruvian television company that produced a singing competition called "Superstar," which Fremantle claims that the show had striking similarities with American Idol, including having two supportive judges and a caustic one, and thereby an infringement of their copyright. They wanted Superstar to be barred from being shown in the United States.

Meanwhile, Africa's fastest-growing TV show is Ethiopian Idols, which is being shown on an otherwise-dull state-run station. The production of this singing competition may pale in comparison to the Idol franchises, such as hastily-built stages, Ethiopian Idols boasts of their own version of a Simon Cowell in the form of musician Feleke Hailu. His catchphase "Alta fakedem" (you didn't make it) has caused shockwaves across this conservative nation, with its people not being used to direct criticism.

Although the producers behind Ethiopian Idols did not seek permission with Fremantle Media, the people behind the Pop Idol franchise intends to charge the producers a fee for each episode instead of filing a lawsuit.

Although ABS-CBN may deny that the Champions Showdown signage is based on Idol's blue ellipse logo, it is undeniable that the shape and font design is strikingly similar, or should we say "inspired."

We await for ABS-CBN's comment on the subject.