eOne continues to request YouTube to remove Wolfoo videos despite of the acquisition

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2024 16:33

Some characters in the Vietnamese animated series "Wolfoo". — Photo courtesy of Sconnect Vietnam

Although eOne no longer holds the rights to Peppa Pig, it continues to claim copyright over Wolfoo on YouTube.

Therefore, Sconect Vietnam, the owner of Wolfoo, has gathered documentation and evidence to submit to the court, the National Competition Commission, and relevant authorities in Việt Nam to investigate and address eOne's alleged misuse and unhealthy competition practices.

A spokesperson from Sconect Vietnam disclosed that eOne and Sconnect have been pursuing a copyright dispute case at the Business and Property Courts of England and Wales since the beginning of 2022.

According to sources from Variety.com and Nasdaq.com, as of December 27, 2023, Hasbro Group (eOne’s holding company) completed the sale of its film and television business (specifically, eOne) to Lionsgate for a total of US$375 million, along with other agreements on price adjustments and some financing loans. As outlined in the purchase agreement, well-known IP characters not included in the sale to Lionsgate consist of "Peppa Pig," "Transformers," "Dungeons & Dragons," "Magic: The Gathering," "My Little Pony," "Power Rangers," "Play-Doh," and "Clue." With this transfer agreement in place, Peppa Pig will no longer fall under the ownership of eOne once the transaction is finalised.

Previously in August 2023, Lionsgate reached a purchase agreement related to eOne's film and television production segment from Hasbro for $500 million. In August 2019, Hasbro acquired and owned eOne for $3.8 billion.

Presently, the UK court is actively handling the case, and no rulings have been issued thus far indicating any copyright infringement by Wolfoo. Despite this, for over two years, eOne has persistently enforced copyright claims on Wolfoo videos, resulting in unwarranted removal of 3,500 Wolfoo videos by YouTube.

Since the beginning of 2022, both eOne and Sconnect have been involved in proceedings related to a copyright dispute at the Business and Property Court of England and Wales. Currently, the lawsuit is undergoing proceedings in UK Court, and no judgment has been issued declaring that the animated series Wolfoo has infringed the copyright of the Peppa Pig animated series. However, for over two years, eOne has continuously requested YouTube to remove Wolfoo videos for copyright infringement. As a result, YouTube removed 3,500 Wolfoo videos without providing reasons.

Despite the fact that eOne has not been associated with the Peppa Pig animated characters since September 1, 2023, eOne continued to abuse its authority by requesting YouTube to remove Sconnect's Wolfoo 2D videos on the YouTube platform, citing copyright infringement. Additionally, eOne also requested the removal of Sconnect's Wolfoo 3D videos, even though 3D animated videos were not part of the legal case in the UK court.

“In light of the aforementioned activities, eOne's infringement on Wolfoo's copyright is obvious. We have gathered documents and evidence on this matter to submit to the court, the National Competition Commission, and various state agencies in Việt Nam for clarification, as well as to request an investigation and prosecution of eOne's abusive and unfair competitive practices," said Sconnect Vietnam spokesperson. — VNS

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