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Discovery Channel stealing show idea

Discussion in 'Copyright, Trademark, Patent Law' started by blossom_momoko, Mar 20, 2008.

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  1. blossom_momoko

    blossom_momoko Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I submitted a show idea to The Discovery Channel. I received a letter from the vice president of programming stating that they did review my submission. She went on to state that it did not fit their programming and that they were already working on a show that was similar. Well a few months pass and I notice that there is a show airing with a different title then what I submitted, but everything else was exactly what I had submitted. The Discover Channel never had my sign a submission form. I did send them a query letter asking if they did accept ideas and they stated yes. After sending 3 letters asking why my idea was used I finally got a call from their legal department stating that it was just a coincidence. I think it was too much of a coincidence.
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Blossom - I wish there was something I could tell you to get over the pain but I'm not sure what can be done and I'm not all too optimistic. Ideas are generally not protected but if you had a plan that could be an "invention" such as a patent, perhaps there might be some protection. If you had a copyrighted plan which may have been used and you sent, perhaps there is some remedy on a technical level but how do you prove it?

    Since the idea is already out in the open, perhaps you can give us more detail as to what your idea was and how much you shared that you claim was uncredited. Let me ask you this - is it possible that they were working on a show that was similar before your letter? Did you make anything clear as to what you wanted in your letter which apparently sent them all the goods?
     
  3. blossom_momoko

    blossom_momoko Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well, I originally sent a guery letter asking if they accept ideas since most networks and production companies only accept material from a literary agent. When I was informed that they (The Discovery Channel) would accept ideas, I sent them my treatment. I was never asked to sign a release form and I never had my treatment registered. The title of my treatment was, The Classic Car Makeover. The show that the Discovery Channel started airing months after they reviewed my treatment was Overhaulin. The only difference with my treatment The Classic Car Makeover and Overhaulin is the title. Everything was verbatim from what I had submitted. Its just a little hard to swallow a "coincidence".
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    When you say "verbatim" what do you mean?
     
  5. blossom_momoko

    blossom_momoko Law Topic Starter New Member

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    By verbatim I mean everything that I wrote in my treatment. The detailed description, the setting, how the show would start out, the complete show, how it is played out. It is exactly what I had submitted word for word.
     
  6. zinyce

    zinyce New Member

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    they did it to me

    CABLE’S #1 NEW ORIGINAL SERIES, GOLD RUSH: ALASKA, RETURNS JANUARY 7 FOR SEVEN CONSECUTIVE ALL-NEW PREMIERES
    Discovery Channel's GOLD RUSH: ALASKA continues to stake its claim on Fridays, with the December 17 premiere episode delivering 2.91 million viewers (P2+). Todd Hoffman wants Discovery Channel's 'Gold: Alaska' to inspire viewers with message of hope? This is my whole concept project description verbatim! Mine highlighted in gray’s guess the producers portal is a portal to steal from others.
    Title Exploration & Mining of Gold (Gold Fever 2008- )
    Short Description THE NEW ADVANCED WAYS OF GOLD MINING.THE
    RECOVERY OF GOLD AND THE EXPLORATION PROCESS OF
    GOLD.THE LIVES OF THE MEN AND WOMEN THAT DO
    THIS .THE MINE AT LARGE IS LOCATED IN NORTHERN
    CALIFORNIA. THIS REALITY SHOW WILL ALSO GIVE HOPE TO THE VIEWER IN ANY PART OF THE WORLD THAT THE USA STILL HAS NOT TAPPED OUT ITS FINEST NATURAL RESOURCE. WITH A NEW PRESIDENT IN OFFICE AND OUR NATIONAL DEBT IN TURMOIL. THIS PRODUCTION WILL SHOW THE WORLD THAT THE DOLLAR STILL HAS A SOLID FOUNDATION FOR OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN AND SO ON .THIS SHOW WOULD BE POLITICALLY CORRECT AS FAR AS TIMING. IT WOULD GIVE OUR NATIONAL VIEWERS HOPE AND SHOW SOME LIGHT AT THE END OF A LONG ECONOMIC REHABILITATION .IT MIGHT EVEN HAVE SOME POSITIVE IMPACT ON TO DAYS MARKET.
    Full Project Description (Treatment)THE PROJECT DESCRIPTION IS ALL ASPECTS OF GOLD MINING.THE EXCITEMENT,THE HISTORY,AND THE LIVES OF THE MEN AND WOMEN THAT DO THIS .THIS PROJECT HAS ALL KINDS OF HISTORY,ENTERTAINMENT ,EDUCATION,FUN AND ADVENTURE.GOLD FEVER WILL TAKE CONTROL OF ALL VIEWERS YOUNG AND OLD. Cynthia Holbrook Dimaria

    I would like to speak with someone in regards to why Discovery Channel took my concept for a reality show. I have proof that I submitted a reality show about Gold Mining (Bedrock Mining). I have have the original correspondence between myself and the Discovery Channel. Along with numerous producer's and mining companies. I have the written concept and the in detail plan of action. The Discovery Channel has not only taken my idea but my whole concept of the reality shows fundamentals (That I wrote and pitched). From the type of mining to behind the scenes of the reality of the miners. I also want to take note that I did protect myself through a third party. I archived my material through a third party. I have a copy from Discovery Producers Portal of my submission. I have a copy of the submission notification. I have a copy of the in depth break down of the concept in submission form. Thank You for your time.Please let me know the protocol I need to take. I would like to av
    oid a legal battle. Cynthia Dimaria
    Dear cynthia l dimaria :
    Your submission has been received and will be reviewed by our development
    team in the next 6-8 weeks. Proposals are evaluated based on originality
    of idea and programming priorities in addition to other criteria. All
    ideas are reviewed in the order in which they are received. You will
    receive an email from our development team after your proposal has been
    reviewed.
    Idea Title : Exploration & Mining Of Gold (Gold Fever 2009 ) (Gold Rush)
    "Epithermal Style" vein system with visible "High Grade Gold" (1000+ OPT) One thousand ounces per ton plus and another very rich alluvial gravel channel in "Virgin" material (Placer ) in Nevada's historically richest Placer gold district. This material has tested at 5 ounces gold per yard on bedrock with 10 to 15 feet of overburden (The only difference is the current shows location) Network : Discovery Channel - US
    Submission id : 7B451
    Submitted on: 11/06/2008 06:34:05 PM
    Discovery eSubmissions site URL:
    Please note: this is an automated email notification. Please do not reply
    to this email directly. Dear cynthia dimaria,
    Your Project Is Now Archived For Proof-of-Creation. Details As Follows Name:cynthia dimaria
    Author Address :3404 east 11th street long beach california 90804
    Your IP Address During Registration:66.214.40.207
    Social Security Number:SSN
    Project Title:gold mining reality show
    Material Form:Concept
    Intended Outlet:Television Program
    Your CV Number :CV2337
    Date and Time :11/4/2008 2:01:59 PMDate and Time :11/4/2008 2:01:59 PM
     
  7. zinyce

    zinyce New Member

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    look below at my problem with this network i also have a verbatim issue
     
  8. Proserpina

    Proserpina Moderator

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    No, really, don't resurrect old threads.

    Please start your own.
     
    zinyce likes this.
  9. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Sorry... I deleted the post by accident since the subject was wrong and it seemed like a duplicate post.

    It is related I guess - both about the Discovery Channel allegedly 'stealing' ideas. The idea of a reality TV show for anything is rather commonplace. But let me ask both of you this -- did the Discovery Channel offer you something for your detailed submissions? Why do you think you were supposed to be compensated.

    In general, "ideas" are not able to be protected and rights you may have could be lost by submitting them blindly to companies. However, there seems to have been some agreement in place (even if online) for your submission to the Discovery Channel. We need to know more.
     

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