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BTS and Big Hit (HYBE) sued for copyright infringement over the K-pop reality TV show I-Land

It’s been a minute since we wrote about a superstar artist’s involvement in a blockbuster copyright infringement case.

What you are about to read here could become one of the most talked about music industry legal cases of the year – even if it isn’t actually about the alleged infringement of a particular song (as we have already seen) high profile copyright litigation that Katy is involved in Perry, Kendrick Lamar, Lizzo or of course the infamous Blurred Lines case are involved.

MBW has learned that megastars BTS and their label Big Hit Entertainment (now HYBE) have been sued for copyright infringement over the reality TV series I-Land by the K-pop talent “Survival”, in which BTS was a guest.

The lawsuit was filed in California last Wednesday (April 14th) by a Florida resident named Bryan Kahn.

Khan claims his idea for a similar show was “stolen” to create I-Land.

Also named as a defendant in the lawsuit is CJ E & M America, the US-based subsidiary of South Korean entertainment giant CJ E & M, with which Big Hit started the show.

I-Land, executive of Big Hit founder and CEO Bang Si-hyuk, was a reality K-pop talent series that ran from June to September last year and aimed at finding the next K-pop stars.

The K-pop group ENHYPEN, signed by Big Hit, was consequently founded by the seven finalists.

In the file, Khan claims he came up with the idea for a television show called Island Hip Hopping and registered treatment for the show with the Writers Guild of America East on November 15, 2013.

Khan then says that after developing treatment for island hip hopping, he “spent a significant amount of his time in Asia” and “studied Asian culture.”

He said he lived there from late 2013 to mid-2020.

Based on Khan’s claims that he “had a great deal of experience and knowledge” in Asia, he began preparing for the production of Island Hip Hopping.

While spending time in Manilla, Philippines, Khan said he “worked on the idea for Island Hip Hopping and shared it with Eric Aguilar,” who allegedly worked as a manager at Risk Emergency Defense Security Solutions, Inc. in Manilla.

Aguilar, Khan claims, “confirmed verbally and through text messaging … that he passed the serial treatment of island hip hopping on to Netflix key manager Rita Magnus.”

The filing adds: “At the end of 2019, Netflix entered into a multi-year partnership with defendant CJ E & M to produce and distribute content.

“The defendants then created a YouTube series I-Land, a reality TV streaming series in which contestants compete for the chance to produce, perform and sell original music, as well as the chance to work with the defendant Big Hit . “

The claim, which you can read in full here, is that “in parallel with the creation and launch of the series” the defendants entered into a contract with Samsung to broadcast the BTS and commercials on the YouTube TV series during the break times for the Samsung S20 / 5G Mobile “.

The filing also lists a few subsequent events that Khan says are related to the series’ release.

These events include a Netflix announcement that it has “entered into an agreement with Samsung that will provide Samsung users with exclusive bonus content,” and the announcement of the “Big Hit Japan Global Debut Project,” which will involve five participants from I-Land New work “Members and a group of mentors from executives and celebrities”.

Khan also claims that discussions of his ideas between him and Aguilar, the person who allegedly passed his idea on to the Netflix executive, “included the opportunity to open an Asian pop culture-themed cafe”.

The file then alleges that “Aguilar’s cousin, Ms. Dianne Aguilar, with the help of the defendants opened a BTS-themed café called The Purple 7 Café.”

Khan said that he “confronted” Aguilar on February 27, 2020 for “possible violations” and that the last time they spoke was on March 13, 2020, which, according to Khan, “was the same day that the Purple 7 Café was opened ”. .

“It is clear that the defendants have stolen and violated multiple times and continue to steal and violate the plaintiff’s proprietary copyright.”

Extract from the submission

Finally, Khan’s lawsuit alleges that “based on the above acts, it is clear that the defendants have stolen and violated on multiple occasions and continue to steal and violate the plaintiff’s proprietary copyrights”.

Filing adds, “The copyrighted treatment of Island Hip Hopping is directly violated every time the defendants distribute, distribute and stream their I-Land 7 series show or music created through I-Land release.

“By distributing such streaming series to the public for viewing, with the Samsung ads that run throughout the streaming, or by producing and distributing music created through I-Land, the Defendants have and will continue to do so essential to the unauthorized reproduction and distribution of the copyrighted island in the Hip Hopping series created by Plaintiff.

“The actions of Eric Aguilar provided the defendants with up-to-date and direct knowledge about island hip hopping and they have directly violated this copyright law.

“The conduct of the defendants causes and, unless prescribed and restrained by this court, will continue to inflict major and irreparable harm to the plaintiff that cannot be fully compensated or measured in money.”

Extract from the submission

Khan concludes that the defendants (Big Hit, BTS and CJ E&M) “acted improperly or in good faith” in response to his “indications of violations” and that the “violations committed by the accused were willful and willful.” ” were “.

He is calling for a lawsuit from the jury and seeking to receive “Defendant Damages and Profits” or, alternatively, a maximum statutory damage of $ 150,000 for each work injured.

“The defendants’ conduct causes and, unless mandated and withheld by this court, will continue to inflict major and irreparable harm to the plaintiff that cannot be fully compensated or measured in money,” the file said.Music business worldwide

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