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On Demand

Reality Television: Copyright Issues and Participant Contracts

1h 5m

Created on November 24, 2014



Join attorneys Amy Goldsmith and Ethan Bordman for this timely and entertaining program on the legalities of reality television.


In this course, Ms. Goldsmith focuses on the copyrightable elements of reality television, from scripts to the finished product, and explains what parts are copyrightable and which are not.  She also presents several well-known cases where “copycat” shows were litigated and their outcomes (“Survivor,” “The Apprentice”), including current unresolved matters, such as the allegations of copyright infringement involving feature film Elysium and Univision’s Q’Viva! The Chosen. 


Additionally, entertainment attorney Ethan Bordman presents contractual and other issues that have arisen in popular shows (“The Bachelor,” “Storage Wars,” and“Duck Dynasty") and considerations for individuals who participate in these programs.  He also explains why “unscripted” television does not always mean “unwritten.” 


Learning Objectives: 

I.   Know your rights: understand content ownership, what is copyrightable and what isn’t protectable 

II.  Understand how production companies work and implement standard content transfer policies 

III. Grasp the unique clauses in Reality Television Contracts 

IV. Recognize aspects that affect programming  



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