Alibaba Wins 432,000 yuan in Damages in Music Copyright Lawsuit against Tencent

The lawsuit over the music copyright infringement of 72 songs between Alibaba Culture Media Co., Ltd. and Tencent was drawn to a court decision on Jan. 15, where Tencent paid 432,000 yuan in compensation to Alibaba.

The plaintiff Alibaba Culture Media claimed that the defendants Tencent, as well as its NYSE-listed affiliate Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) Group, used the songs without authorization from Alibaba, according to China Judgements Online, an official website organized by the Supreme People’s Court to post judicial decisions.

The judicial decision of the case posted on China Judgements Online. (Source: China Judgements Online)

The music was used in the Tencent Dingdong Intelligent Audiovisual Screen and the Dingdong App, as pointed out in the decision. Assisted by artificial intelligence, the device displays content from Tencent Video and QQ Music on an 8-inch screen. And the Dingdong App helps users to connect and use the device.

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Tencent Dingdong Intelligent Audiovisual Screen. (Source: Tencent)

The music involved in the case is from Rolling Stone International Music Co., Ltd. and come from 10 albums, including Mayday’s First Album (五月天的第一张专辑) from Taiwan Rockband Mayday and Responsibility of Loving You (疼你的责任) from Malaysian singer Victor Wong.

The label authorized the songs to Alibaba Culture Media with an exclusive license from Nov. 1, 2018 to Oct. 31, 2021. Therefore, the company has the exclusive right to disseminate information of these audio recordings on the Internet and can take legal actions against infringing third parties in its own name.

Alibaba Culture Media Co., Ltd. was founded in January 2017 with a registered capital of 200 million yuan and backed by Hangzhou Alibaba Venture Capital Co., Ltd. Alibaba’s entertainment unit’s Chief Process Officer Chang Yang serves as the CEO of Alibaba Culture Media.