Vietnamese YouTube channels lose 'millions of US dollars' over Peppa Pig copyright dispute

By Luu Quy   June 12, 2024 | 10:44 pm PT
Vietnamese YouTube channels lose 'millions of US dollars' over Peppa Pig copyright dispute
A person works on a Wolfoo video in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Quyen Pham
The Vietnam-based producer of the Wolfoo character on YouTube said the company has lost tens of millions of dollars due to "baseless" copyright claims by the platform.

Sconnect, the Vietnames producer, on Wednesday said it has filed reports to authorities to be supported when it comes to copyright claims related to foreign units: eOne and Hasbro.

These two units are related to the Peppa Pig character, in which eOne was the former owner of the character before transferring the rights to Hasbro. However, eOne still dished out copyright claims over the Wolfoo character by Sconnect.

The conflicts began in November 2021, after eOne struck copyright claims on Wolfoo videos on YouTube. The companies then sued each other in Russia, the U.K. and Vietnam.

The incident resulted in over 4,000 videos on Wolfoo channels being deleted, as well as several YouTube channels, including one with 12 million subscribers, being blocked from posting new videos.

Sconnect said the company loses "$1 million a month," and that it would bring the matter to the court to demand compensation from eOne.

The Vietnam-based firm also said eOne no longer had rights over the Peppa Pig character, since September 2023, as it had sold off the company and transferred the rights over to Hasbro.

However, in February, eOne continued to strike copyright claims "baselessly", causing several videos and channels by Sconnect to be removed from YouTube.

Some were eventually recovered by YouTube after consideration. But on June 3, several Wolfoo videos were once again removed by YouTube due to copyright claims from eOne.

A representative of the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information said it would look into the case after checking Sconnect's reports.

YouTube has yet to provide a comment on the matter, but in an email response to Sconnect in March, the platform said it did not play a role in resolving copyright conflicts and ownership between parties, and it encouraged parties to take the matter to court.

Lawsuits in the U.K. and Vietnam have yet to come to a conclusion.

Ta Manh Hoang, founder of Sconnect, said the firm was willing to negotiate with eOne and Hasbro to end the conflicts soon, but the two units had yet to respond.

Sconnect, founded in 2014, often produces videos on social platforms. YouTube channels related to Sconnect's Wolfoo are in the dozens, and are made available globally in 20 languages.

Peppa Pig is an animated character created by U.K. artists in 2004, and was broadcast on TV first before being brought online.

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