VDCA demands YouTube, Facebook protect Sconnect's rights

October 15, 2022 - 17:52
Since the beginning of 2022, Sconnect and EO have continuously sued each other in courts in Russia, the UK and Việt Nam due to intellectual property rights disputes.


Wolfoo film is produced at Sconnect's studio. Photo courtesy of the Sconnect

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam Digital Media Association has announced that there will be a written suggestion to YouTube and Facebook to consider thoughtfully, based on a decision in a Moscow (Russia) court, to protect the legitimate rights of Sconnect while waiting for the last call of the Court of England and the Court of Hà Nội.

Since the beginning of 2022, Sconnect and EO have continuously sued each other in courts in Russia, the UK and Việt Nam due to intellectual property rights disputes. Although no court has yet concluded Sconnect violated EO's copyright, the YouTube platform removed more than 1,000 videos and restricted Wolfoo's business rights. 

Tạ Mạnh Hoàng, CEO of Sconnect, said YouTube's biased in favour of British businesses led to Sconnect losing out, allowing EO to take advantage of loopholes in the policy of the cross-border platform to compete unfairly in the case of copyright disputation between "Wolfoo wolf" and "Peppa pig".

According to the latest in the intellectual property dispute between Sconnect and Entertainment One (EO) on October 11, Chairman of the Việt Nam Digital Communications Association (VDCA) Nguyễn Minh Hồng has signed a response paper to Sconnect's petition.

On September 14, Sconnect sent an application to the VDCA's Chairman requesting assistance in protecting this unit's legitimate rights and interests, which foreign enterprises were seriously infringing. 

In document No 79/HTTS-DCC dated October 11, in response to Sconnect's letter, VDCA stated, "This is a civil case. Accordingly, it is recommended that Sconnect initiate a lawsuit at the People's Court of Hà Nội City to dispute settlement in parallel with the litigation activity under the EO's petition in the UK Court."

VDCA also informed that: "While the related parties carry out legal procedures in the UK and Việt Nam, VDCA has written requests to intermediary service providers such as YouTube, Facebook and other similar platforms, to consider the dossier thoroughly and objectively deeply; considering based on the previous decision of the Court of Moscow City (Russia Federation), not to depreciate to Vietnamese enterprises while waiting for the court's judgment to be enacted by the parties, when the lawsuit has not been filed and accepted by UK and Vietnamese courts. 

"VDCA requests YouTube to consider keeping the status quo of before the dispute arose, not accepting Entertainment One to register Sconnect's Wolfoo content copyright, as well as restoring all the previous deleted Wolfoo content and restoring Sconnect Wolfoo's right to publish new content on channels," VDCA added. 

The media has continuously reflected on the copyright dispute between two sets of cartoon characters: Wolfoo (owned by a Vietnamese enterprise named Sconnect) and Peppa Pig (owned by a British enterprise named EO). Both are well-known animated characters on YouTube. 

Wolfoo is a set of cartoon characters built and released by Sconnect on YouTube since June 2018. It has over 2,700 episodes, 50 million followers and has been translated into 17 languages worldwide, hitting 3 billion views monthly. Wolfoo also achieved 3 Diamond Play Buttons and dozens of Golden and Silver Play Buttons on YouTube. The 'made in Vietnam' product suffers due to the copyright dispute lawsuit with EO's Peppa Pig cartoon character set.

"Although the Wolfoo character set had fully registered for the copyright of images, characters, and scripts in Việt Nam, the US, Russia and many other countries when the EO reported for copyright content and YouTube still accepted, Sconnect suffered a huge damage, more than US$1 million in revenue, as well as damage to the brand's reputation," said a representative of Sconnect. VNS