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Homework Question - Intellectual Property Law

Discussion in 'Australian Law School Homework Questions' started by JimmyMcgill, 31 May 2015.

  1. JimmyMcgill

    JimmyMcgill Active Member

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    Assuming this scenario, what would Emma be entitle to do? Help would be much appreciated.

    Emma had developed an idea for a completely new and novel television game show that would be cheap to produce and have great public appeal. Emma had a private meeting with a television producer and explained the idea in detail to the producer in the hope that the producer would assist Emma in making the idea a television reality. Emma hadn’t put the idea in writing because she was concerned it might fall into the hands of people who would exploit the idea before she could, although she had discussed the idea with a trusted friend before approaching the producer. Without further reference or credit to Emma, the producer packaged the new game and sold it to a major television network. It became an international success. Advise Emma. Is it a violation of intellectual property law?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jimmy,

    As is the case with most homework and exam scenarios there is no clear cut answer. Ideas themselves are not protected by intellectual property laws. However copyright does protect the owner's original expression of ideas. Therefore, one primary question that needs to discuss would be: Was there an original expression of Emma's idea that can be protected?
     
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  3. JimmyMcgill

    JimmyMcgill Active Member

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    Thank you for your help Sophea.

    Since in this case Emma's original expression of the idea was not in a tangible form or documented could he she till seek remedies?
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Well its arguable that there is no "expression" of the ideas. Since they are not written nor recorded in any other way.
     
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  5. JimmyMcgill

    JimmyMcgill Active Member

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    Thanks again. Would the fact that she told her friend have any significance to the matter? It odd because I have to give a 3 min presentation on this question and if there is no case of copyright I'm not sure how that's possible.
     
  6. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    The fact that she discussed it with her friend prior to going to the producer would mean that she has a witness who can verify that she held the idea before the producer, so she would be able to prove in court that the idea was hers, but the question is, does copyright law protect her mere "idea" without it being expressed in some form. Maybe do a bit if research surrounding what may constitute an "expression" of an idea - there may be some cases with similar fact scenarios - then spend some time discussing whether there has been an original expression of ideas.
     
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  7. JimmyMcgill

    JimmyMcgill Active Member

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    Thank you so much.
     
  8. JimmyMcgill

    JimmyMcgill Active Member

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    After some research I figured Emma can sue the producer for breach of confidence.
     

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