Seven loses injunction to halt Hotplate

Hot Plate - Birds Nest491

Seven Network has lost an injunction to stop Nine’s The Hot Plate from continuing to broadcast, but now intends to launch a full copyright lawsuit.

Seven had sought a Federal Court ruling that The Hot Plate breached the copyright of My Kitchen Rules, drawing upon similar production elements and storytelling.

“I’m satisfied that Seven has a reasonable case for showing there has been an infringement of its copyright by Nine,” he said.

But he did not think that the case was as “particularly strong on a prima facie level” to warrant an injunction.

“I do think it’s a case where if Seven wishes to process in this way there should be an early trial hearing…to ensure the matter is brought to a conclusion long before there is a second season of The Hotplate broadcast.”

Seven now has 48-hours in which to appeal the decision, and the judge reserved a judgement on costs.

A Nine spokesperson said: “We are pleased with the court’s decision today regarding The Hotplate and look forward to continuing this hit series on Nine.”

Seven’s own Restaurant Revolution has failed to attract an audience and been pulled back from 4 nights a week to 1.

Seven statement in full:

We will continue seek to protect our business and the content we create.

His Honour today found that Seven has an arguable case that the close similarity of the formats is the result of copying and that there is a reasonable basis for Seven to argue that, directly or indirectly, the team responsible for developing the Hotplate format has copied the format, or a large part of the format, used in MKR.

Seven will continue its case against the Nine program which it asserts is a straight rip-off of My Kitchen Rules.

The defendants, when the matters proceed to full hearing, includes the Endemol Group, the distributor of MKR program, as well as Nine. Seven needs to protect not only the Australian version of My Kitchen Rules but also the distribution rights in many overseas territories. Given the importance of the matter, Seven has asked the court to deal with the matter as an urgent hearing.

My Kitchen Rules is the number one show in Australia. It is also broadcast in in 162 countries. There are local versions of MKR being produced under licence in seven international markets very successfully, including Canada, Lithuania, UK, Serbia, New Zealand, Belgium and Denmark.

Seven will also continue to create new and original programmes. That commitment has underpinned our continuing leadership in television and a success that others seek to copy.

Source: Mumbrella , AAP

26 Comments:

  1. Great victory for lawyers on both sides.

    To those sayings it’s disgusting that Nine copied the format, well, Seven have copied a long list of formats, theme for theme, challenge for challenge and they’ve fobbed off as original ideas that were produced in house.

    Not only do the lawyers get to make some easy money on a case a legally loose as this, but in the rare event a precedent is set, they can look forward to many more challenges. If 7 weren’t under so much pressure at present, I wonder if they’d consider this court action a good strategic move. Im sure the lawyers do.

    GPS school fees paid thank you!

  2. Someone wise once wrote “if it looks like a rip-off and smells like a rip-off then….”
    What Nine and Endemol have done here is shameless and corrupt.
    The makers of Hotplate surely have not a shred of professional integrity left.
    No industry professional would have any respect left for this overt plagiarism.
    How can they even pretend that this is their own work when it so obviously is not.
    Shame.

  3. Rather disappointed, I was hoping to see the premature end of both shows and force both networks to re-examine new original formats or genres to keep more creative Aussies both entertained and employed with.

    • Totally agree. They should have been found guilty of not producing quality drama (both of them). The industry needs unique and creative programming and only regular ten minute news bulletins. With the amount of news and “lifestyle” rubbish they are virtually begging the audience to look elsewhere.

  4. spectrum warrior

    60 minutes, Sunday night. Are they copies? Seven what to open some flood gates then their lawyers will become very rich. We will find out all about it on sunrise which looks nothing like today.

    • 60Minutes is a different format to Sunday Night. Actually, 7 had “Today” as a breakfast show before they canned it and ran cartoons, then Nine started using the name later when they couldn’t use “Good Morning Australia” as TEN had already registered it before GMA started.

    • I thinks that’s fair advice for 9 as well as 7. I am tired of the repeative Singing, Cooking, Reno line up that 7 and 9 have been doing year in, year out for the past 3 years.

  5. Judge said MKR is “a successful but nonetheless unimaginative collection of unoriginal ideas and situations found in earlier reality television programs”. Seven has all but lost, damaged MKR “brand” and delivered Nine extra viewers that may not have been interested before. Nine should be delighted

    • Yep. For someone who had never watched contest before, the judge figured it out fairly quickly.

      The question is at what point combining bits of a other shows and common production techniques creates a unique copyrightable work. Something that will take a full trial.

      Nine could have bought the rights to come Dine With Me and then adapted it into something like Hotplate , that would have made the trial much more fun.

  6. Common sense wins out again. We still haven’t seen what the rest Hot Plate is going to be, will there be more teams added, or are the current ones it. Hot Plate can only be called a copy if more teams come in and then there are studio eliminations. I think it was far too early for Seven to take this to court, but I guess in their horrible position now, they had no choice to get rid of their competition.

  7. I think it’s interesting to note that 7 have put the British edition of the original recipe MKR on 7+. My guess is that they want to provide viewers with the real deal and not this rip-off.

  8. Ha!
    Sucked in, Channel 7!
    Looks like a case of extra sour grapes to me ’cause theirs is doing so much better than yours.

    Glad they failed as I’m quite enjoying The Hotplate.

  9. I anticipated this outcome but it’s still rather disgusting.
    I’m not a big an of 7, but it shouldn’t be right for 9 (or any channel) to be able to do this. They didn’t just create “another” cooking show, they downright copied it.
    Makes you wonder what line they would’ve had to cross for 7 to win?

  10. get ready for 7’s version of the voice next year and the block. nine with their version of masterchef and ten to do the same. the start of the end of free to air tv like Netflix has predicted. no one is watching aussie drama and overseas content. the only thing people are watching is sport, news, current affairs, and reality is starting to die a slow death.

    • Could not agree more The Rock. Is fascinating to see these once great networks cannibalise eachother. To think thesedays they think they have a hit with a million viewers beggars belief. I remember a time when getting 2 million viewers was considered a success and a million was not, not any more it seems. And none of these shows have scored at least a million viewers this week. Am waiting for Seven to claim Nine News is a format pinched from them too. No wonder FTA is a slow death spiral, go Netflix!

      • The FTAs are the FTAs worst enemies. We’ve gone from 4 or 5 channels to 15 or 16. SBS is nothing like it was when it started. Add the FTA-owned or backed watch-anything-anytime Iview, Catchup, Jump In, Presto, Stan, etc., etc. Commercials time per hour has doubled, the quality imports going to pay-tv, ABC and SBS. Netflix is just a tiny part of the problem. We’ve had video rentals and PVRs for decades

  11. I’m with 9 on this one. Only because it’s exciting to see that status of the networks change with 7 floundering and 9 and 10 improving at 7.30.

  12. How??? I that photo looks almost exactly like MKR. The format is so similar that it might as well be called MKR: Professional edition. One of the judges even looks like Manu but through the photo copier but blurred slightly.

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