PLANNING to take your format around the world? If so, make sure it’s protected.

That’s the message FRAPA hopes to deliver to delegates attending the FRAPA Workshop On Format Rights Protection at DISCOP East in Budapest. The session, part of the DISCOPRO training and pitching programme, is set for 14.00 on June 22 — one day before the opening of the 18th edition of the leading Central and Eastern European content market. It’s the first time that FRAPA has organised such a workshop at DISCOP East, says Ute Biernat, FRAPA chairman and CEO of GRUNDY Light Entertainment. “FRAPA is becoming more global,” she says. “As such, we want other members of the format industry to understand how we work and how we can help formats to be recognised and thus protected.” FremantleMedia’s Tony Stern, Absolutely Independent’s Eric de Winter and Armoza TV’s Avi Armoza are also confirmed speakers on the panel.

Biernat points out that the territories of Central and Eastern Europe are increasingly churning out local formats, some of which travel regionally and a few of which travel internationally.

She adds that format industry executives in the region are very well informed: “They know what is going on in the business, and they are very aware of how the business is changing, particularly in the digital arena.”

But it’s a big industry and one that is growing at a rapid pace, Biernat observes: “So it’s important that there is a common sense of understanding about legal and other issues. We believe it’s the right time to be there and to acquaint players in the region with what FRAPA can do for them. It’s also a good chance for us to network. DISCOP East is a mid-year gathering, where ideas and viewpoints can be exchanged that may be specifically relevant to the region.”