Love Island Contestants Risk More Than Sunburn

| General

Love Island Contestants Risk More Than Sunburn

For many young persons exposed to a new-fangled social media world, alleged successes vary. To gain attention persons wanting to differentiate themselves have different options available to them such as:

  • blurting out messages with words containing less than one syllable
  • publishing videos containing a seemingly idiotic rant
  • posting mildly amusing content
  • uploading their profile onto a dating service or
  • entering talent shows to showcase their talents

All to be perceived as the flavour of the week, gain favour from like-minded allegedly idiotic followers or further their career profile. One method such persons use to gain instant success is by entering dating shows. One programme which young people appear to be watching is Love Island. Modern youngsters are seemingly flocking to be part of this television programme to further their careers, increase their public profile and have a seemingly free holiday. Good luck to them.

This Is All Very Well But Are They Missing Something?

Professor Matilde Pavit, at Exeter University, provides sage advice to would-be contestants. She reminds anybody about the debacle surrounding the French version of Temptation Island whereby contestants would enter the television programme in couples in a format designed to test the love they have for each other by avoiding being tempted with the aim of improving their profile, seeking to gain their seeming few seconds of fame and taking advantage of any opportunities which may come their way as a result.

What Law Applies Here?

The esteemed Professor strongly encourages these persons to carefully consider their legal rights before putting pen to paper and entering such a show. She helpfully provided the example whereby nearly eighty former contestants of Temptation Island had submitted a group action in the French Courts claiming that due to the nature of the relationship being allegedly one of employer and employee. The basis of the claim was the Claimants seeking clarification on:

  • the legal relationship,
  • the statuses and
  • accompanying rights of the parties.

The Claimants submitted that the respective television company was the employer and the two individuals in the couple were appearing in the television programme as two performers.

The Contestants also claimed to have intellectual property rights due to being allegedly performing actors.

What Did The Court Say?

The judge reviewed the evidence and found in favour of the claim by the contestants as on the terms they were regarded as employees because the shooting conditions and working conditions were so:

  • stringent
  • extreme and
  • controlling

for the Claimants that it met the mutuality of obligations and control test because contestants were:

  • advised what to say and wear
  • when to speak, eat and sleep
  • ordered to forfeit their passports to prevent them from exiting the location before elimination.

Did The Claimants Succeed On Every Part Of Their Claim?

The judge decided to swipe left on the Claimant’s argument for intellectual property rights and refused to accept their submissions because they failed to meet the definition of ‘performers’ as there was no part or script. The court looked at the reality and decided they were not actors as they were being themselves and reacting to reality television situations.

What Should Lawyers Be Advising?

If persons fail to consider the legal implications sunburn will be the least of their concerns. Persons planning a holiday would not go without suncream or face sunburn. However, if persons fail to carefully define the employment relationship, they also risk leaving themselves open to having their fingers burned. It is likely that the courts will look at whether claimants have a specific role and a script in deciding whether intellectual property rights have arisen.

The Legists Content Team


#Allen&Overy #Bird&BirdLLP #BrostowsLLP #CMS #MishcondeReya #TaylorWessing #BakerMcKenzie #DLAPiper #BakerMcKenzie #GowlingWLG #HerbertSmithFreehills #Simmons&Simmons #Wiggin #AddleshawGoddard #BrowneJacobsen #CharlesRussellSSpeechlys


[1] Rozenberg, Joshua and Dr Mathilde Pavis – Do Love Island contestants leave their legal rights at the door of the villa – BBC - Law in Action - Do Love Island contestants leave their legal rights at the door of the villa? - BBC Sounds

[2] French Labour Code

[3] Court of Appeal of Versailles – 6th Chamber – 5th April 2011, RLDI 2011/71, no 2346

[4] L211-1 French Intellectual Property Code



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