ByteDance’s Xigua Video Sues Tencent for Copyright Infringement

Xigua Video, a video app owned by ByteDance, has launched a lawsuit against Tencent for copyright infringement and unfair competition practices, claiming a compensation of 8 million yuan ($1.24 million). The lawsuit was reported by local media outlet Shangyou News on Thursday.

According to the complaint, Xigua Video claims the exclusive copyright of two popular movies – “My People, My Homeland” and “My Country, My Parents”. However, a large number accounts on WeChat, a life-sharing platform released by Tencent, are uploading the complete movie for users to watch for free. Xigua’s lawsuit claims that this practice is infringing on the legitimate rights and interests of the company who hold the actual copyright to these movies. The case has been accepted by the Intellectual Property Court of Hainan Free Trade Port.

“My People, My Homeland” and “My Country, My Parents”, released in 2020 and 2021, generated a high number of box-office receipts, bringing in 2.8 billion yuan and 1.476 billion yuan respectively. These two films’ broadcasting copyright protection has been a major priority of the National Copyright Administration.

(Source: Xigua Video)

In addition, Xigua Video claims that Tencent failed to take effective measures to delete, filter and intercept infringing videos after receiving the rights warning letter, infringement complaint notice, and lawyer’s letter, all of which indicated that Xigua Video copyrights had been infringed and had caused severe economic losses to the company.

Xigua Video is claiming a compensation of 8 million yuan in total from Tencent, of which 3 million yuan is for “My People, My Homeland” and 5 million yuan is for “My Country, My Parents”.

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The new Copyright Law was officially implemented on June 1 last year and stipulates a series of punishments and greatly increases the penalties for infringement. Compared with infringing video clips, copying the complete film is more serious and has consistently been the focus of crackdowns.