8 OCT 2020

CONTROVERSY IN UKRAINE OVER “THE MASKED SINGER” FORMAT

The 1+1 network aired a show titled “Maskarad,” in which they illegally used the elements of the world-famous format “The Masked Singer,” although the adaptation rights of this format in Ukraine only belong to the TV channel Ukraine.

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On October 3, 2020, the TV channel 1+1 aired a show titled “Maskarad,” in which they illegally used the elements of the world-famous format “The Masked Singer,” although the adaptation rights of this format in Ukraine only belong to the TV channel Ukraine, which purchased them from Fremantle a couple of months ago.

TRBC Ukraine, LLC, as the holder of the rights to the format of “The Masked Singer” in the territory, believe the piratic behavior of 1+1 in relation to the format violates the rights and legal interest of its network. Therefore, the case of violation of the rights will be filed to court by TRBC Ukraine, LLC. In addition, the channel is going to address FRAPA (Format Recognition and Protection Association) regarding the protection of its rights.

“The undisguised plagiarism by the nation-wide broadcaster that lost the competition to purchase the rights to adapt the successful international format to TV channel Ukraine contradicts the principles of fair competition in the national market of audiovisual works. It ruins the legal bases for creating a civilized market of copyright as well as the international reputation of Ukraine as a country in which broadcasters respect and protect the copyright,”  the company stated.

Considering the unprecedented violation of the copyright in relation to the successful international format by 1+1 as well as the reputational risks such actions may have for the state of Ukraine, TV channel Ukraine is also addressing the current Minister of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, who is also the Honorary President and Ex-Head of 1+1 Media, Oleksandr Tkachenko, with a demand to publicly express his opinion regarding the actions by 1+1 on faking the format and the consequences such actions will have for the international image of the state of Ukraine.