Chinese video-streaming platform Tencent Video said it has filed a lawsuit against ByteDance’s short-video app Douyin for copyright infringement and unfair competition over clips from a hit TV drama, seeking RMB 100 million ($15.4 million), Chinese media reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Tencent Video’s legal action is the latest attempt by a streaming platform to control the spread of clips on short-video platforms. Streaming platforms fear that widespread posting of clips will undermine the value of expensive content.

Details: In the complaint, Tencent Video accused Douyin of circulating clips of “Crime Crackdown,” a hit TV drama, without consent. Claiming ownership of exclusive right to the online dissemination of the drama, Tencent said Douyin had allowed users to upload clips from the show and failed to take any measures after receiving a notification letter from Tencent. 

  • In a response, Douyin claimed that it had signed a cooperation deal with the co-production company of the drama, under which the company will open an official account on the platform while Douyin will be responsible for curating promotional activities. Douyin also said that it had taken down clips immediately after receiving complaints from Tencent.    

READ MORE: ByteDance rages against Tencent over link blocking. Here’s why

Context: Tencent won a similar case against Douyin over clips of “Honor of Kings,” a hit Tencent game, earlier this month. ByteDance was fined RMB 600,000.

  • Mainstream video-streaming platforms have recently ramped up criticism of their short-video peers over alleged copyright infringement practices. Tencent vice president Sun Zhonghuai lashed out at short video content, comparing it to “pig’s feed” and complaining of widespread copyright violations at an industry conference held in June.

Zhanhang Ye

Zhanhang Ye is a Shanghai-based reporting intern for Technode, covering the content and entertainment industry. Reach out to him at 295227325@qq.com.