Simon Cowell and others will harshly judge contestants. No, not on American Idol, on The X Factor on ITV1 in England. The creator of American Idol (and its UK basis, Pop Idol), is suing Cowell in the UK
I put in a call to the IPKat who reports that protection of a TV format is difficult in the UK. Copyright protects works, not formats while trademarks protects registrable signs, so there’s a hole where TV formats would go. We tend to call that hole “unfair competition and related state torts” here.