Endemol cross about Malta show

Prodco spies 'Big Brother' lookalike

LONDON — Entertainment producer Endemol has issued a judicial protest against the producers and broadcasters of Malta’s “Big Brother” style reality show “L-Ispjun” saying it breaches intellectual property rights.

“Endemol regards ‘L-Ispjun’ as a blatant copy of its ‘Big Brother’ format and has demanded that the companies responsible discontinue this infringement of its rights,” the company said in a statement.

“L-Ispjun,” which translates roughly as “The Spy” or “Spying,” is one of Malta’s most popular weekly shows. It involves participants living under constant camera surveillance in a “house of the spy.”

Endemol issued the writ Tuesday to producers Watermelon Media & Communications, pubcaster TVM and Melita Cable, which runs an evening channel dedicated to the show.

Netherlands-based Endemol gave the companies 48 hours to stop producing and broadcasting the show. It also demanded that any profits made from the program be handed over.

A spokesperson for Watermelon Media refused to comment on the case, saying the company was consulting its lawyers.

He added that no decision had been taken on whether to air the next edition of the show on Wednesday evening

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