Seven’s announcement of Plate of Origin, a new cooking show with Matt Preston, Gary Mehigan and Manu Feildel has raised eyebrows from 3AW breakfast co-host Ross Stevenson.
The Seven Studios-produced format is described as “a worldwide food fight (which) will pit cuisine against cuisine, plate against plate, cook against cook.”
This morning on 3AW Stevenson said, “Two years ago I hawked around my idea for a cooking show, called World Cup of Food in which ethnic cuisines competed against each other in a format, to see which was the best. I hawked it around and was told ‘No, we’re not interested.’ So when I read that this new show is an original format, in which teams from diverse cultural backgrounds will compete to see which cuisine will reign supreme it is very, very familiar to me.
“I’ll have a talk with someone today about how they came up with this so-called original format.”
Shaun Miller from Shaun Miller Lawyers told TV Tonight there is no copyright in broad brush themes or ideas, but in the expression of those ideas.
“Channel 7 may have been inspired by the concept of worldwide cuisines being pitted against each other, as presented to them by Ross Stevenson but Channel 7 may have added a great deal of its own originality to what is to become Plate of Origin, including in terms of the way in which contestants are selected, the powers of the judges, the rules of the contest and things like set design and theme music.
“All of these foregoing elements may be an original form of expression which is protected by copyright because it involves a new format, even if that format is based on the over-arching idea of a competition between international dishes of food.”
Stevenson, who featured in Seven Melbourne series A Moveable Feast, also co-created The Games with John Clarke who both accused BBC of ripping them off with 2012 after they met with BBC producer Jon Plowman earlier.
Shaun Miller said of the Plate of Origin question, “I have sympathy for Ross Stevenson, he may have been treated unjustly, but the law regarding copyright, including format rights, and confidential information is unlikely to offer any legal remedy in this case.
“Although the whole matter does leave a bad taste in one’s mouth -if you’ll pardon the pun.”