Copyright Law

Record company sues Vietnamese file-sharing site and its US investors


A record company has filed suit against a Vietnamese file-sharing site, accusing it of copyright violations.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that Vietnamese entertainment company Lang Van had filed a complaint against several venture capital companies that own or have invested in file-sharing site Zing.vn. The complaint was filed on Jan. 22 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Massachusetts-based International Data Group, its venture capital arms IDG Ventures and IDG Ventures Vietnam, and Vietnam-based VNG Corp. The lawsuit accuses Zing.vn of offering 3,000 of Lang Van’s songs for free downloads in violation of the record company’s copyrights.

“The U.S.-based fund IDG Ventures directly contributed to the exponential growth of Zing.vn’s website as well as the launch of the Zing Music website, bringing expertise, guidance and financial backing to help VNG grow its business,” Lang Van argued in its complaint. According to the complaint, Lang Van is seeking damages of $150,000 for each of the 3,000 alleged infringements on the site, for a maximum of $450 million.

The AP reports that Zing.vn has come under fire for alleged copyright violations in the past. The U.S. Trade Representative has put the site on its list of “notorious” copyright abusers. Meanwhile, Zing.vn lost two major advertisers when Samsung and Coca-Cola pulled their ads off the site over copyright concerns in 2012

VNG’s head in Vietnam declined comment to the AP. IDG Ventures Vietnam released a statement saying that it had sold its shares in VNG in 2009.

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