Alibaba Sued Tencent For Copyright Infringement, Tencent Judged To Compensate 432,000 Yuan
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Recently, according to a civil judgment published by China
Judgments Online, Tencent was sued by Alibaba for infringing on the
information network dissemination rights of music works such as
Mayday, Liang Jingru, Pinguan, and was sentenced to compensate RMB
432,000 in the first instance.
The above-mentioned judgment of the first instance shows that
the plaintiff Alibaba Culture Media Co., Ltd. alleged that Tencent
Technology Company, Tencent Computer Company, and Tencent Music
Company used the “Tencent Dingdang Smart Audio-visual
Screen” and the supporting “Tencent Dingdang” App to
inform users without authorization, providing the musical works
involved in the case constituted infringement.
The reporter learned that Tencent Dingdang smart audio-visual
screen is the first smart speaker product with a screen released by
Tencent on December 18, 2018. After users download the Tencent
Dingdang App and connect it to the smart audio-visual screen, they
can use the screen to play music works through the App search.
It is reported that there are 72 musical works involved in the
case, which were included in ten albums by singers such as Mayday,
Pin Guan, Guangliang, Liang Jingru, Ren Xianqi, Xin Xiaoqi and
others. From November 1, 2018, to October 31, 2021, Rolling Stone
International Music Co., Ltd. authorized the plaintiff to enjoy the
exclusive information network dissemination rights of the
above-mentioned musical works, that is, the right to take legal
measures against infringing third parties.
The defendant argued that after the user instructed the speaker,
the speaker would send a request to the qq.com server, and the
whole process was completed directly in the Dingdang speaker and
the App. Since users do not need to call or access QQ Music
software during the entire process of playing music, Tencent Music
is not a qualified defendant.
Similarly, Tencent Technology is only a hardware manufacturer of
Tencent Dingdang smart audio-visual screens and did not provide
users with online dissemination services of the music works
involved. Therefore, the defendant believes that the company should
not be liable for infringement.
Tencent Computer Company stated that the evidence submitted by
the plaintiff shows that the software download source and service
subject of the Tencent DingDang smart audio-visual screen music
service are all from the qq.com domain name and website, which
means that the music service provider, in this case, is Tencent
Computer Company. The plaintiff’s listing of Tencent Music as a
co-defendant was essentially false defendant, deliberately created
a jurisdiction junction.
After trial, the Court found that Tencent Technology Company and
Tencent Computer Company directly infringed the plaintiff’s
network information dissemination rights through different work
divisions based on the purpose of joint cooperation, based on the
liaison of common will. According to the Provisions of the Supreme
People’s Court on Several Issues concerning the Application of
Law in the Trial of Cases involving Civil Disputes over
Infringements upon Personal Rights and Interests through
Information Networks stipulates that tort liability shall be
jointly assumed. Tencent Music Company cannot prove that it has
committed joint infringement due to insufficient evidence, and
shall not bear joint infringement liability. In accordance with the
“Copyright Law” and other relevant regulations, the Court
ruled that the defendant should immediately stop the infringement.
In addition, considering factors such as the popularity and
influence of the musical works involved, the scale of speaker
sales, duration, and consequences, the Court determined that the
defendant must compensate the plaintiff for economic losses based
on 6,000 yuan per song, that is, the defendant must compensate
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