Establishing the Copyright Ability of TV Formats in Cross-Border Private Relations


  • Oksana Lutkova, Anna Ananeva



The global market of copyrights on TV formats has been growing and developing since the 1950s but their proper understanding has not been officially consolidated in positive law. The study subject is cross-border relations that identify TV formats as copyrightable intellectual property. The article aims at determining approaches to establishing protectability of foreign TV formats as copyrighted works in different jurisdictions. To attain this end, the authors used formal-legal and comparative-legal methods, as well as methods of legal modeling and historical analysis. Based on the study results, the authors have developed the term "lex media" (media law) to denote the usages that formed in the cross-border circulation of rights to TV formats and determined a list of the main social relations regulated by lex media, its main sources and correlation with lex mercatoria. Due to lex media, TV formats join not only positive copyrights, but also common format rights, and in the transnational relations, TV formats are recognized as a quasi-copyrightable intellectual property.