VDCA asked relevant agencies to protect Vietnamese firm’s interests

October, 25/2022 - 06:58
After carefully reviewing the case file, VCDA believed that Sconnect is suffering a lot of heavy damage from the decision-making of intermediary service providers, YouTube and Facebook, on the basis of its activities, claims and petitions that have not been heard by the EO courts in the UK.

 

Wolfoo City amusement park in Hà Nội. Photo courtesy of the firm

HÀ NỘI The Việt Nam Digital Communications Association (VDCA) sent a document to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Information and Communications and Google's representative in Việt Nam proposing to protect the interests of Vietnamese digital enterprise Sconnect in the copyright dispute of the animated movie Wolfoo. 

In the newest development applied to the copyright dispute of the animated movie between two animated characters “Wolfoo wolf” of Sconnect and “Peppa Pig” of Entertainment One UK Limited (EO), VDCA announced that, on September 14, the association received a written suggestion to consider, support, and proceed the enterprise to overcome the challenge of Sconnect to protect the legitimate rights and interests of this unit which are seriously infringed upon by a foreign enterprise.

After carefully reviewing the case file, VCDA believes Sconnect is suffering heavy damage from the decision-making of intermediary service providers, YouTube and Facebook, on the basis of its activities, claims and petitions that have not been heard by the courts in the UK.

Sconnect has full certification of copyrights and a favourable ruling from the Russian Court. Participating in international litigation is expected to take a lot of time and money for the business, while with the decision to accept Sconnect's EO copyright Wolfoo content, delete the content Wolfoo has posted, the time when new content is not allowed to be posted is causing great damage, affecting the reputation and finances of the business.

VDCA proposed that two State agencies, the Department of Broadcasting and Electronic Information and the Copyright Office, fully review the case file and send an official document to the intermediary service providers YouTube, Facebook to allow to keep the status quo of Sconnect and EO before EO's complaint and lawsuit process against Sconnect until there is an official ruling from one of the courts that the rights holders are suing in Hà Nội People's Court (where Sconnect sued EO) and the UK court (where EO sued Sconnect).

VDCA also sent a text to Liên Nguyễn, Google's Senior Policy Advisor for the Vietnamese market, asking YouTube to fully and thoroughly review the case file and support the business's operations in Việt Nam, allowing it to keep the status quo of Sconnect and EO before EO's complaint and lawsuit process against Sconnect until there is an official ruling from one of the courts that the right holders are suing in the people's court in Hà Nội (where Sconnect sued EO) and the UK court (where EO sued Sconnect).

According to a separate source, the Google representative has received the VDCA's document and transferred it to the relevant departments of Google for consideration and settlement. 

Wolfoo is a set of cartoon characters built and released by Sconnect on YouTube in June 2018, currently, the content channels about this character have 2,700 episodes, attract 50 million followers, translated into 17 languages globally. Wolfoo also achieved 3 Diamond Play buttons and dozens of Gold & Silver Play buttons on YouTube. The world-famous product "made in Vietnam" is suffering serious damage in a copyright dispute lawsuit with EO's Peppa Pig cartoon character set. 

“Although the Wolfoo character set has fully registered the copyright of images, characters, and scripts in Việt Nam, the US, Russia and many other countries, when the EO is copyrighted, it is still accepted by YouTube causing huge losses to Wolfoo in terms of revenue of more than US$1 million. Views decreased from 3 billion per month to more than 1 billion views due to wrong copyright,” said a representative of Sconnect. 

Due to unbearable pressure from EO, in mid-August 2022, Sconnect made an appeal to four ministries of Information and Communication, Industry and Trade, Culture - Sports and Tourism, Science and Technology. At the end of March 2022, Sconnect filed an application with the Việt Nam National Competition Commission to complain about unfair competition practices of EO (violating clauses 3 and 4, Article 45 of the Law on Competition), but so far have not received a response from these agencies. VNS

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