The mission of FRAPA — the Format Recognition and Protection Association – it is, quite simply, to be the home of international format business by providing protection and information for producers, creators and distributors all over the world. Founded in 2000 at the “dawn” of the current reality television explosion, FRAPA came into being when formats grew from a boutique business into a global, multi-billion dollar industry responsible for many of the biggest entertainment brands on earth.
A KEY ROLE IN THE TV FORMAT INDUSTRY
FRAPA continues to evolve alongside the industry it represents, expanding its suite of services to reflect the format industry’s ever-changing needs, it has refined its mediation and registration services, added a unique price calculator to its website, issued the definitive survey on the global trade in television formats and established its Annual Format Awards ceremony as one of the most respected acknowledgements of creative achievement in the format world.
By protecting and representing the interest of its members, FRAPA has helped to create the formats industry as we know it today. It has played a key role in helping the wider entertainment business understand the concept of intellectual property.
History of FRAPA
A decade of fighting for format protection
In April 2000, a small group of format-industry pioneers met in Cannes to debate the creation of an international industry body to combat the growing problem of TV-format piracy. The group, drawn from around the world, agreed that action was necessary and endorsed the idea of the Format Recognition and Protection Association (FRAPA). The fledgling association’s aims were succinctly stated: “FRAPA aims to ensure that television formats are respected by the industry and protected by law as intellectual property.”
FRAPA in motion
Over the past 10 years, FRAPA has worked tirelessly to promote the protection and recognition of format rights. Its services and events include:
At the heart of its suite of services, FRAPA’s mediation expertise has proved its effectiveness time again over the past decade, to the benefit of the format community as a whole. In an impressive 80% of thedisputes in which it has been called to mediate, FRAPA has succeeded in steering the warring parties towards a mutually acceptable solution.
To date, some 35 format-plagiarism disputes have been mediated successfully. However, since confidentiality is an intrinsic part of this service, FRAPA’s mediation track record remains largely unknown by the wider industry.
In 2010 — the year of its 10 anniversary — FRAPA joined forces with WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organisation. FRAPA members can now call on the services of the non-profiting-making UN agency, which offers alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms for IP and related disputes.
In 2000, FRAPA established the Paper Format Registry, which now contains more than 1,200 format proposals. Available exclusively to FRAPA members, the Paper Format Registry provides credible evidence that a piece of work existed the moment it was created. In 2005, FRAPA expanded its registration service with the launch of the Digital Online Registry, which is available to both members and non-members. Over the past five years, the Digital Online Registry has grown to contain more than 300 format concepts.
In 2004, FRAPA issued the format industry’s first major analysis of its market in a report entitled The Global Trade in Television Formats. The study, which valued the production volume generated by traded formats at around €6.4bn, provided the first hard evidence that the buying and selling of international formats hadbecome a powerful global business in its own right. In 2008, in response to the rapidly changing economic and media landscape, FRAPA initiated a second report. The result — The FRAPA Report 2009: TV Formats to the World — provided the format community with a comprehensive and up-to-date roadmap of the industry’s 14 key territories. It also revealed that the global format trade had undergone a period of volcanic growth. Between 2006 and 2008, the report estimated total production expenditure on formats to be around €9.3bn, confirming what many in the industry had suspected: that formats are now a key driver of the global entertainment business. Click here to look at the key findings and order a copy of The FRAPA Report 2009: TV Formats to the World.
FRAPA Format Awards
The FRAPA Format Awards were launched in 2003 at the Monte Carlo Television Festival. In 2005, they moved to the Rose d’Or Television Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland. Two years later, in 2007, FRAPA decided to re-brand the Formats Awards in order to raise their international impact. It therefore joined forces with the influential entertainment business publisher C21Media and the competition was moved to the world’s foremost audiovisual content trade show: MIPCOM in Cannes, France. Renamed C21Media/FRAPA Format Awards, the annual event now takes place at an exclusive beach-front venue in Cannes, attended by some 250 MIPCOM delegates.