The television producers Toni Cruz and Josep María Mainat have sued Veranda TV, the producer of the Eufòria format, broadcast by TV3, and the CCMA (Catalan Corporation of Audiovisual Media), the public entity that manages the chain, for an alleged plagiarism of the program Operación Triunfo, a program that they created and premiered with enormous success on RTVE in 2001.

According to the creators of OT, this confrontation has been caused by "the extreme similarity" between the essential elements of Eufòria and those that made the Operación Triunfo format famous. After analyzing the musical talent of TV3, one of the most watched programs on Catalan television with record audiences, Cruz and Mainat contacted the CCMA in order to obtain some satisfactory explanation for what they considered "a flagrant copy of their creation", but, in the absence of responses, they decided to take legal action.

According to Cruz and Mainat, before filing the lawsuit, they have made sure that their impression was corroborated by broad sectors of the specialized press, by important figures in the television industry and by the analysis of experts in the field who, after the timely examination of both formats, have concluded that Eufòria "is simply an Operation Triumph in Catalan", collects the statement of the producer of Mainat and Cruz, Rest.TV.

"Eufòria reproduces, with tiny variations, all the essential elements, mechanics, phases and original aspects of Operación Triunfo" says Toni Cruz.

The lawsuit comes after several warnings to Veranda and the CCMA itself about the possible plagiarism of Operación Triunfo. Last summer Mainat already expressed his annoyance against the program recalling that the talent of the Catalan public channel "copies the experience, the mechanics, the elements of the format, the scenery, the characters and the terminology of our show, without recognizing its authorship".

Mainat, for his part, recalls that OT "has been exported to more than 70 television channels around the world, and all have recognized our authorship." "It is disconcerting that plagiarism happens precisely in Catalonia and TV3," he says.

Cruz and Mainat conclude that they hope that "this demand will serve to enhance creativity and ensure the originality of new television formats, thus defending a right that should be sacred: the intellectual property of an idea belongs to its authors and no one can violate this right by passing off other people's successes as their own creations."

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  • Operation Triumph