Misuse of confidential information
Sky case and misuse of confidential information to create reality talent TV show
Before: Mr Justice Birss
(1 ) Brian Wade
(2) Geraldine Perry
British Broadcasting Limited
Citation Number:  EWHC 634 (Ch)
The claimants Mr Wade and Mr Perry, had a successful careers in the music business. In about 2006 they had an idea for a TV programme. The show was to be called the Real Deal. It was to be a primetime music talent show that features artists who write and perform their own material. It included all types of singer-songwriters. The claimants formed a group called The Real Deal Partnership including themselves, Lester Mordue and Tim Van Someren. Mr Mordue had been Head of Programming at MTV. Mr Van Someren was an experienced television director. In November 2008, the Real Deal Partnership (TRDP) pitched the idea to Jo Wallace at the BBC. She was not interested particularly because she felt a show with original music would not work on prime time TV. TRDP adjusted their ideas to feature original music and cover versions. In June 2009 TRDP pitched their ideas to Clare Hollywood, a commissioning editor at the Defendant Sky, providing Sky with a deck which featured all their ideas. Despite encouraging correspondence from Ms Hollywood no decision was made by Sky. In February 2010 TRDP received a rejection message from Sky. Later in 2010 it emerged that Sky were making a new music talent show called Must Be The Music. Mr Van Someron was invited to direct the new show. Princess Productions produced the show for Sky. The claimants case is that The Real Deal had been copied by Sky to produce Must Be The Music. The claimants alleged misuse of confidential information. That Sky had misused the confidential information on the deck to create Must Be The Music. The claim form was issued in July 2012. The claimants case was based on inference evidence that ideas were derived or copied from the deck to create Must Be The Music.
It was held that although the deck contained confidential information, Sky did not misuse that confidential information. Must Be The Music was made completely independently. The action was dismissed.