Banijay Blocks Talpa's 'The Next Popstar' Title

A Dutch court demands Talpa change the name of its entertainment format to avoid confusion with Banijay's "Popstars."

COLOGNE, Germany - French entertainment TV conglomerate Banijay Group has won another legal battle with a European competitor over alleged copyright infringement after a Dutch court demanded Banijay's Dutch competitor Talpa stop calling its new talent show format The Next Popstar.

The District Court of the Hague ruled that the title was too similar to Popstars, the signing talent competition show originally developed by Banijay's Australian subsidiary Screentime in 1999 and adapted to more than 50 counties worldwide including the Netherlands.

Banijay has been particularly litigious of late, last month requesting an injunction against Celebrity Splash, a high-diving entertainment format from another Dutch production outfit, Eyeworks, which has been licensed to several broadcasters, including ABC in the U.S. and ITV in the U.K.. Banijay claims Eyeworks' show, in which VIPs compete in a series of high dives, is a copy of the older German format, TV Total Turmspringen, created by Banijay subsidiary Brainpool.

Earlier this year, Banijay itself won a copyright case brought against it by reality TV giant Endemol, when a French court threw out the claim that Banijay's reality series Dilemma copied Endemol's French format Loft Story.