On February 19, US-based music production and distribution company Lang Van informed Tuoi Tre that the company has filed a lawsuit against the International Data Group (IDG) and VNG - the owner of the music and social network site Zing.vn - for copyright violation.
In a more than 106-page complaint filed at the United States District Court for the Central District of California on January 22, Lang Van accuses that from October 2012 to November 2013, Zing.vn illegally used more than 3,000 songs and 600 albums to which Lang Van owns copyright. The US-based International Data Group and its venture capital funds IDG Ventures and IDG Ventures Vietnam are involved since they are VNG’s financial investors and consultants.
More than 80 pages of the complaint are used to list names of the songs which Lang Van accuses Zing.vn of making available for people around the world to download for free though VNG doesn’t have the copyright of such songs. The accusation says that the defendants have enjoyed financial benefits since the songs helped increase the site’s visits and advertisement revenues as well as attract players to VNG’s games. Lang Van says they did not sign any contract with the defendants.
In addition, Lang Van requires VNG to pay a compensation of US$150,000 for every infringement. The company says it worked with Zing.vn several times on the issue in 2012 and the infringed songs were taken down by VNG for a while but then continued to reappear on the site.
Tran Thi Hong Hai, a representative of Lang Van in Vietnam, confirmed that the company has started the procedure to sue IDG and VNG since January but she doesn’t know exactly the progress.
On February 20, more than 10 of the violated songs listed by Lang Van were not available for listening or downloads on the site with the announcement “the song is temporarily hidden as per the requirement of its copyright owner.”
For its part, VNG’s representative said the company owns copyright to a majority of songs on its site through contracts with the Vietnam Center for Protection of Music Copyright, and with composers and singers. The remaining songs, as explained by Zing.vn, were uploaded by web users.
Before becoming a member of the site, users have to agree with the site’s regulations, including a copyright term. A registered member has the right to upload their content as long as the content is not copyright violation.
Zing promised it will verify and take down the violated songs and even block violated users’ accounts.