Glass House versus Big Brother

Has anyone else been following the litigation in California between CBS and ABC about the new reality show, Glass House, that is alleged to have copied protected aspects of Big Brother?  Story here.

It makes sense that the format of reality TV shows should not be heavily protected by copyright law as they are basically concepts/ideas.

But the legal battle between the networks does raise an issue about appropriate levels of legal protection for entertainment content as the television industry moves more heavily into reality-based shows where the format is more important than (or at least as important as) the actual scripting.

More and more Hollywood scriptwriters are becoming writers/consultants for reality TV shows because that’s where the work is, but the scripting is clearly different in nature to traditional script-based television entertainments.

So it will be interesting to see how the scriptwriting profession changes in years to come and how intellectual property law bends (or doesn’t) to reality TV formats.