ABC Studios denies format fracas

Memo about international IPs was 'misread,' studio says

ABC Studios on Friday denied that the memo by exec vp Howard Davine encourages producers to copy international formats rather than licensing and paying for them.

"The intention of the memo has been greatly misconstrued and misread," the studio said in a statement. "ABC Studios has been and continues to be committed to the protection of intellectual property and rights holders as our standards and business practices have demonstrated."

ABC Studio's first official comment on the memo since it found its way to the blog Deadline Hollywood Daily July 10 came a day after international format protection body FRAPA called on ABC Studios to renounce the contents of the memo.

FRAPA committee member and Fox Reality Channel president David Lyle warned that ABC Studios owner Disney risked having its own formats stolen if it didn't act on the matter.

"If ABC and Disney refuse to repudiate the contents of the Davine memo, then producers in both the U.S. and around the world might note their silence and help themselves to the 'underlying premise' of 'Hannah Montana,' " he said.