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Summary:

Fans of PostSecret are steamed at NBC and they are letting their fury loose in the NewTeeVee comments. The uproar was sparked yesterday when PostSecret linked to a story we wrote earlier this month about NBC launching an upcoming online series called Fears, Secrets and Desires. […]

Fans of PostSecret are steamed at NBC and they are letting their fury loose in the NewTeeVee comments. The uproar was sparked yesterday when PostSecret linked to a story we wrote earlier this month about NBC launching an upcoming online series called Fears, Secrets and Desires.

We pointed out in our original story that the premise of NBC’s show was similar to that of PostSecret in that users submit their fears, secrets and desires. Only instead of an artistic post card, NBC would create a series of videos around the submissions, using Hollywood talent to bring them to life.

In its blog update on Sunday, PostSecret founder Frank Warren posted the following email message he received:

Hey Frank,

Ever notices how the (corporate owned) media reports on big companies that prosecute people for “stealing” music and other creative content from the web. But you never read any stories about the corporations like 3M and NBC that pirate from PostSecret and other websites.

“NBC” in the post linked back to our initial coverage on NewTeeVee. PostSecreters’ reactions were swift and litigious. Here are some sample comments:

And NBC has the nerve to call “Fears, Secrets and Desires” an NBC Web Original. It’s not an original, it’s a blatant rip off that’s going to pander to the lowest common denominator. It won’t be Post Secret- it will be Jerry Springer. NBC, for shame. Post Secret should sue.

BOO!!! Boycott NBC until they own up to and compensate (IE: Hopeline donations etc) Frank and the Post Secret Community for stealing their ideas!!! FOR SHAME!!!

Way to rip off PostSecret. Yea… NBC is not original or clever. Hurray people who can’t think of a good idea themselves! Go get ‘em Frank! Sue them!

Warren, who founded the site back in 2005, is currently traveling and could not be reached for comment.

For its part, an NBC spokesperson said that its online series was based on a TV show called Fear Itself, and said it would provide more details in a statement later today. We’ll update you when that happens.

What do you think? Has NBC ripped off the idea from the web, or is the idea for this show general enough to have happened on its own?

  1. Its a tough call, having worked in TV, I can tell you that it isn’t usually the networks that come up with the ideas for new shows, but outside producers who then pitch their ideas to networks. It is totally plausible that a producer ripped off the site and pitched it to NBC which may or may not have known about post secret, but the similarities between them are pretty damning. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

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  2. [...] PostSecret Fans in Uproar Over NBC Show « NewTeeVee on April 28th, 2008 at 12:41 pm – Permalink [...]

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  3. This is ridiculous. Hollywood is only going to ruin the pure artistic way secrets are shared. And how can they not think this is rip off? Disgusting. I’m a fan of NBC, but this pisses me off.

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  4. Putting originality aside, this show sound horrible. Not because it allegedly “ripped” the idea from PostSecret but because it seems like it will become less about the actual stories and more about who appears on the show. To me, it sounds less like an artistic take on an idea and more like a show that will make personal stories impersonal.

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  5. this is absolutely absurd.
    NBC is doing something really low here. there is no artistic value in what they are doing. in fact, there is no value in it whatsoever.

    grow up NBC. form your own ideas; don’t steal frank’s.

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  6. I wouldn’t put it past NBC to blatantly steal this idea (and watch Fox make a copy of NBC’s show and put it on the air before them)

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  7. Once again, peoplecan’t seem to come up with something original. It will be a typical thing where some suit that doesn’t know what the premise is turns it into a dirty little secret show for the thrills, and not something gentle and kind like Post Secret is. How can you ACT a secret fear or desire? Gimme a break, something wonderful due to be trashed again by the so called networks..

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  8. Nicole Leigh Monday, April 28, 2008

    I think this will turn the postsecret idea into a shallow compitition over who can make the worst secret, or whathave you. Why are we marketing people’s mistakes and confessions in such a corporate way? There’s a severe difference bewteen creatively expressing something you are ashamed or proud of, and writing some story to a television company who’s pretty much going to parade it to America. It’ll be some sick popularity contest to see who’s worse off. I think it’s a terrible idea, regardless of how it rips postsecret off.

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  9. I think it’s horrible how NBC (or any show) automatically thinks that they’re not only ‘original’ but can do BETTER than postsecret.

    Leave P!S where it is and find something new to do. NBC would just screw it up anyway.

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  10. You guys are horrible for stealing this idea for PROFIT. Take it back – my secret is that I work at NBC and I wish they’d be a better company….oh wait, that’s fake, because I would only submit a TRUE secret to postsecret.com, not NBC!!!!! Screw you!

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