Moonbug awarded US$23 million in major copyright case
The owner of popular kids YouTube channel CoComelon convinced a jury to award it $23.4 million from Chinese competitor BabyBus Co. Ltd. for ripping off its videos.
Moonbug Entertainment Ltd. accused BabyBus of creating Super JoJo songs that were in some cases virtually frame-by-frame copies of CoComelon songs, in its lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California. Babybus conceded that it infringed seven CoComelon works before trial, but contested alleged infringement of 35 other works.
“The verdict should serve as a warning that Moonbug will not stand by and allow infringers to free-ride off our success, including by making a carbon copy of our beloved JJ character,” said in-house lawyer Rob Miller.
“This outcome finally vindicates in court the simple truth that Moonbug and Tyz Law Group have known the whole time: Artistic expression and content creators are always worth protecting, and the owners and creators of valuable intellectual property must stand firm against flagrant plagiarists,” reads a statement from TYZ Law, which represented Moonbug in the case.
Ryan Tyz, whose San Francisco firm Tyz Law Group PC represented Moonbug at the trial, said:“I am so proud of the entire Tyz Law Group team, especially Ciara McHale and Deborah Hedley, along with Moonbug’s Victoria Baxter, who led the trial with me and helped tell the CoComelon story, which is as inspiring as the shows they create.”
CoComelon is one of the market’s biggest and most popular preschool IPs, with 163 million YouTube channel subscribers to date. Its hallmark animated series, created by Treasure Studios and owned by Moonbug, has been picked up by more than a dozen broadcasters around the world. Seeing this success, Netflix ordered three seasons of a spinoff called CoComelon Lane in 2021, as well as several compilations and specials.
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