YouTube deletes 3,000 videos, Vietnamese studio cries foul

By Luu Quy   August 1, 2023 | 06:55 pm PT
YouTube deletes 3,000 videos, Vietnamese studio cries foul
An artist works on the animation of cartoon character Wolfoo at an office of Sconnect. Photo by VnExpress/Quyen Pham
YouTube has deleted over 3,000 videos about a cartoon character name Wolfoo due to alleged copyright violations even as the Vietnam-based producer Sconnect continues to deny all accusations.

The videos, which had billions of views, were asked to be removed by U.K. company Entertainment One, which claimed that Wolfoo was based on its creation "Peppa Pig", Sconnect said in a report to Vietnamese authorities at the end of July.

Entertainment One reported the videos to YouTube in April, claiming that the scenes used in Wolfoo videos were copied from Peppa Pig.

The company in July again reported the videos, claiming that the Wolfoo videos were also copying some of the audio and sound effects from Peppa.

But Sconnect said that in both cases, Entertainment One and YouTube were not able to provide any clear evidence to show that copyright regulations were infringed.

Sconnect said that the scenes and sounds mentioned are popular in everyday life.

There is no legal ground for the claims, the studio argued, adding that its requests to YouTube since June have received no response even though the number of removed videos is increasing.

Wolfoo Family, one of the YouTube channels that provides the videos, has lost around 2.4 billion views due the removed videos since May.

Sconnect is now asking Vietnamese authorities to convince Google and YouTube to stop accepting copyright claims from Entertainment One.

YouTube and Entertainment One have not commented on the issue.

Sconnect, established in 2014, has 19 Wolfoo-related YouTube channels.

"Wolfoo" is an English-language YouTube preschool animated web series about a young wolf and his anthropomorphic family.

British preschool TV show "Peppa Pig" features an anthropomorphic piglet and her family. The show first aired in 2004.

Entertainment One last year had sued Sconnect in Russian and British courts over intellectual property infringement, claiming Wolfoo is a "reworked" version of the Peppa Pig characters.

Following an independent review, in July Russian experts rejected this claim and the Moscow City Court terminated Entertainment One’s suit against Sconnect.

Entertainment One then immediately withdrew all claims.

YouTube said earlier it never acts as an intermediary to resolve conflicts between two parties and only provides tools for users to protect themselves.

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