About this lecture:
Over the last years, a vibrant global market for TV show formats has emerged. Newly created game show, casting, magazine, soap, telenovela, documentary and other formats are often sold to broadcasting stations in dozens of countries, leading to a worldwide multi-billion dollar trading industry. Except for trademark protection, TV show formats are difficult to protect by intellectual property rights. While the industry has developed some tools to combat format “piracy”, both industry and some scholars are arguing to increase intellectual property protection for TV show formats. This paper raises doubts on these arguments. The TV show format market is subject to fashion cycles and difficulties in assessing the future success of a new format. This paper shows how an emerging industry can benefit from an environment of low intellectual property protection and exemplifies this with data drawn from a database of the global TV show format trade.
About the speaker:
Stefan Bechtold is an associate professor of intellectual property at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. At ETH, he is a member of the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (D-GESS) and an associated professor at the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC). Stefan Bechtold graduated from the University of Tübingen School of Law, Germany, and from Stanford Law School (JSM 2002). From 2005 to 2008, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods in Bonn, Germany. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (1999, 2000), the University of Amsterdam’s Institute for Information Law (2005), and the University of Munich School of Management (2009). Stefan Bechtold is a member of the foundation board of the Study Center Gerzensee (a foundation of the Swiss National Bank), where he is involved in the organization of law & economics courses for doctoral students. His research interests include intellectual property, law and technology, telecommunications law, antitrust law, as well as law & economics. In his youth, Mr. Bechtold composed numerous orchestra and chamber music works which have been awarded several composition prizes and have been repeatedly performed and broadcast.
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