Copyright claim could halt ITV move for ‘The Voice’


The TV programme ‘The Voice’ which focuses on finding new talent through anonymous means, has recently announced its departure from the BBC. It is highly rumoured that it will be moving to rival channel ITV to continue broadcasting.

However, the actions of an Irishman could put a copyright shaped spanner in the works.

Roy Barry has issued proceedings in the US arguing he created the unique format of ‘The Voice’ and has copyright protection over it. Previously, the Dutch production company Talpa Media declared they had control over the concept of the show.

Roy Barry states that he filed for copyright protection and registered a domain name in 2008 for a talent show named The Voice of America. The concept of this show involved the judges considering contestants from behind screens so they only judge them on their singing ability.

Through a sharing platform, Barry believes that new employees of Talpa Media viewed the concept via their previous employers, The Entertainment Group, and then proposed the format to Talpa Media at a later date, ignoring his copyright protection.

He believes that this exchange of information had taken place in March 2009 which links in with the registration of ‘The Voice’ domain names in a number of countries by Talpa.

Tapla Media are not entertaining the claim as a spokesman has said, stating “We robustly refute this spurious claim, which is completely untrue and baseless, and we will vigorously defend our format.”

A claim of copyright infringement has been issued by Barry in the USA as well as future plan to start proceedings in Holland.

This may not seem relevant in relation to UK based ITV, however it could cast a negative light on the show just before they are looking to give it a revival. The investment ITV have made in acquiring the show is unknown but if potential viewers are in doubt about the authenticity of the format following this case, it could have an impact on potential success.

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