Tencent has recently filed a lawsuit against a user for livestreaming its PC title “League of Legends” on Bytedance’s Xigua Video without authorization, media outlet BiaNews reported.
Tencent said in its filing that the user violated the company’s user agreement, which prohibits users from recording, livestreaming, and disseminating content from Tencent’s games without its authorization, according to the report. Tencent also requested in the filing that the user halt all live-streaming activities and pay RMB 1 in damages.
The lawsuit could help establish an industry-wide standard that requires livestreaming service providers to acquire authorization from game developers or publishers, He Jing, an IP lawyer with Merits & Tree Law Offices in Beijing told TechNode. This could pose a great challenge to non-Tencent related live-streaming platforms, she added.
The user in question is 25 years old and has 1,690 followers on Xigua Video, where he uses the handle, “HT Jianjian.” His last post on the platform was an announcement for a live-streaming session of “League of Legends” dated December.
Upon being notified of the lawsuit, the user objected and countersued, claiming to have the right to exhibit virtual items that he purchased with RMB 1,500 in “League of Legends,” according to the BiaNews report. By prohibiting him from livestreaming the game, the user stated, Tencent is denying him of such a right. He also demanded that Tencent refund the RMB 1,500, pay RMB 4,500 in punitive damages, and cover his attorney fees.
Tencent was not immediately available for comment when reached by TechNode on Tuesday.
According to the report, this is the first time a game company has sued individual users for livestreaming games without acquiring proper authorization. However, Tencent has been increasingly litigious, suing Bytedance six times in May alone for livestreaming three of Tencent’s most popular titles: “League of Legends,” “CrossFire,” and “Honour of Kings.”
Bytedance recently fought back against an injunction issued by a Chongqing court to remove content related to these games from its content aggregator Jinri Toutiao. In a strongly worded statement, Bytedance called the injunction “unlawful” and “severely flawed,” and urged authorities to investigate the court’s actions.
This article has been updated to include comments from a lawyer.