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Friday, May 7, 2021

VNG sues TikTok over copyright issue

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HCMC – Local tech firm VNG has filed a lawsuit against TikTok with the HCMC People’s Court, saying that the short-form video platform does not acquire adequate licenses for songs used in TikTok videos.

VNG Corporation has accused the China-based company of using songs owned by Zing, a subsidiary of VNG, without Zing’s consent, Reuters reported.

VNG requested TikTok to remove all Zing-owned music pieces from both the TikTok website and the mobile app. The Vietnamese tech firm also asked for an indemnification for damages of over VND221 billion, equivalent to US$9.5 million, according to a legal document from the municipal People’s Court that was seen by Reuters.

The Saigon Times on August 24 contacted a media representative of TikTok in Vietnam regarding the issue but has yet to receive any response. Meanwhile, VNG has confirmed that it sued the Chinese-owned company but declined to make any further comments on the case.

According to findings from The Saigon Times, in the lawsuit sent to the court on May 28 this year, VNG said that Zing had discovered that many Zing-owned audio tracks were published on the TikTok platform without its permission, violating copyright and related rights as stipulated in Term 8, Article 35, of the Law on Intellectual Property.

Earlier, on June 7, 2019, Zing sent a letter of cease and desist to TikTok, pointing out the wrongdoings of TikTok Inc. and requesting TikTok to review and remove all the soundtracks owned by Zing until it received permission for the same. TikTok was also asked to hide all the videos using music segments taken from Zing and to reply in a document to Zing in 10 days starting from the date it received the warning letter.

As for TikTok Inc., it gave authority to the Indochine Counsel to respond to Zing on July 22 last year. It admitted to being the owner of the TikTok app but refused to take responsibility for the alleged copyright infringement. It also failed to present evidence proving it was permitted to use Zing’s songs.

VNG Corporation is a local giant tech firm established in 2004. It has been known for its online games, music streaming and messaging apps.

Meanwhile, TikTok has become popular in this Southeast Asian nation where its user base has reached 10 million people as of this month, with millions of short-form video uploads to its platform.

By Le Hoang

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