Idea/expression dichotomy in Ecuador

Sam and Daisy, two young French artists, started negotiations with Cherryland, a well-known Ecuadorian company that organises outdoor activities.

The parties held several meetings in Quito and, after analysing the whole portfolio, Cherryland’s representatives selected eight of the artists’ plays, which had all previously been registered in the Ecuadorian Intellectual Property Office (SENADI). Eventually, however, the Latin American company only bought rights for three of them and requested the right to adapt another one for a new project.

Besides discussing the adaptation of the play, Sam and Daisy had also orally provided their ideas for the design and manufacture of a special portable theatre where to perform their plays.

The adaptation was a success but, a few months later, Sam and Daisy became aware that Cherryland was using some of the discarded works without their permission. Moreover, and although it seemed to be of no interest for them before, the company developed and exploited the portable theatre as the European artists described they would.