As promised, CBS filed a lawsuit Wednesday against ABC, Granada plc and
Granada Entertainment collectively, accusing the three of infringing on CBS'
Survivor copyright with forthcoming reality program I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of
CBS asked the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York to
enjoin ABC from broadcasting the show and also asked for monetary damages, as
well as payment of attorneys' costs and fees.
'The similarities between Survivor and Celebrity are multiple
and cumulative, resulting in wholesale copying of Survivor's protectable
and distinctive expressions, trademarks and trade dress,' the lawsuit said.
'Celebrity is a transparent effort to infringe plaintiffs' rights in
Survivor and to misappropriate the success and goodwill of CBS and
Survivor Productions,' it continued.
CBS had no comment.
In the lawsuit, CBS focused a good deal of its attention on the first edition
of Celebrity, which aired in the United Kingdom last August and was shot
in Australia, close to the location of the second Survivor.
Castaway Productions Ltd., which owns the British rights to Survivor,
is already suing Granada and ITV1 in the United Kingdom.
According to the lawsuit, ABC plans to air the show,
produced by U.K.-based Granada, during February sweeps. ABC was not available
for comment at press time.