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Workshop: Reforming Formats

Producing and protecting audiovisual formats in convergent media

An international workshop – research meets practice

Formats galore. Watching audiovisual formats takes a great share of people’s media menus. Producing formats is a core part of the global entertainment industry. Protecting formats is a key issue for debates on copyright and the legal requirements to bring forth cultural goods.

Reviewing audiovisual formats today, we find many developments at once. On one level, digitally networked technologies and social media platforms open up new ways to screen and consume audiovisual material. On another level, legal frameworks to balance copyright protection, public interests and free culture are revised. In addition, looking at media organizations there are international mergers as well as increasingly diverse agents involved in making and distributing audiovisual formats.
The two-day workshop brings together academia and practice. The workshop will be held in December 2013 at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society, Berlin. It is hosted by Jeanette Hofmann, Christian Pentzold and Christian Katzenbach from the Internet Policy & Governance working group in cooperation with CREATe, the Research Councils UK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy at the University of Glasgow.
With its range of international key researchers it maps the current state-of-the-art in international research on audiovisual format production and protection. It brings together the expertise of legal councilors, media practitioners and academics. It opens up a forum to link academic issues with practical needs and insights so to discuss upcoming trends, pressing problems and future developments in the international production and protection of audiovisual formats.

Twitter hashtag: #reformats


Full agenda: PDF


10:00 – 10:30Registration
10:30 – 10:45Welcome and Outlook
10:45 – 11:45Keynote + Q&A
13:00 – 14:30The Changing Production of Formats
15:00 – 16:30The Changing Protection of Formats
16:30 – 17:00Wrap Up
17:00 – 18:00Stand-up Reception


09:30 – 09:45Welcome and Outlook
09:45 – 11:15Comparing Production and Protection of Formats
11:15 – 11:45Wrap Up


Workshop Documentation

Find out more about what happend at the workshop in this blogposts.

Christian PentzoldReforming formats – A workshop report
Formats are part and parcel of the global entertainment industry. In their local guises, programs like the exceptionally successful formats Who wants to be a Millionaire?, Idols and Big Brother

I. Slides

Susanne StürmerFood for Thought from a Market Perspective
Andrea EsserReality TV Formats as Multimedia Brands
Klaus-Dieter AltmeppenRoutines and Flexibility. Social Practices in the Entertainment Production
Claudio ColettaImitation at Work. Production and consumption of media formats
Philip WernerOnline Video. What traditional content producers need to learn
Jean K. ChalabyThe Global TV Format Trading System: Trends and Developments since the Format Revolution
Martin Kretschmer,
Sukhpreet Singh
Exploitation of TV Formats – Empirical Study
Jessica SilbeyCreative Communities, Innovative Industries: The (Ir)relevance of Intellectual Property in the 21st Century
Sukhpreet SinghLocalisations in TV Formats – Lessons for Protection

II. Further Reading

For further reading please find Ms. Megan Rae Blakely’s and Mr. Andrew Black’s perspectives on attending Reforming Formats published on the CREATe Blog.

III. Participants

 View PDFShort CVs of the Speakers
 View PDFList of Participants



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Kalkscheune (how to get there)
Johannisstraße 2, 10117 Berlin.


The event is hosted by the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society in cooperation with CREATe: RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy, University of Glasgow.


Event date

05.12.2013 - 06.12.2013 | 9.00 am – 6.00 pm ical | gcal


Kalkscheune,  Johannisstraße 2,  10117 Berlin


Christian Pentzold, Prof. Dr.

Associated Researcher: The evolving digital society


This high-profile lecture series thrives to develop a European perspective on the processes of transformation that our societies are currently undergoing.


Once a month we publicly discuss the impact of digitalisation on the society. Therefore we invite special guests and engage in a dialogue with the audience.


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