ShareChat was reportedly forced to take down TikTok videos from its platform after it received notices stating that TikTok had exclusive rights over the content, reported the Economic Times. TikTok also said that had exclusive copyright on certain content due to contractual arrangements between them and the content creators. ShareChat has declined to comment. TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, also clarified that it had the “sole right to initiate and control legal action including takedown requests,” per the report.
ShareChat’s earlier case with Bytedance-owned Helo
In May, the Delhi High Court had disposed of a case filed by ShareChat against its rival Helo, which is also operated by Bytedance. ShareChat accused Helo of being a “complete copy” of its own app, saying it mimicked its design, features and the look of individual icons. It also accused Helo of copying various posts and comments by ShareChat users and attributing them to fictitious people on its own app. Additionally, it said that ByteDance was unfairly bidding on the keyword ‘ShareChat’ on AdWords, Google’s advertising platform, to secure a higher placement in a Google search for that keyword. According to ShareChat, this constituted copyright infringement and also gave the impression that ShareChat was owned by or associated with Helo and ByteDance.
However, the case was set aside after Helo made several changes, including to its design and content, without being ordered to do so.
On November 1st last year, the court noted that Helo had:
- Changed the user interface and login screen of its app
- Tweaked the partial image that appeared in its listing on the Google Play Store
- Discontinued and/or deactivated its keywords involving ‘Share’ and ‘Chat’ on Google Adwords
- Changed the content categories and sub-categories on its app
In an order on April 14, the court told ShareChat’s lead counsel to ask his client if the suit could be disposed of, given that Helo had made the changes it was seeking. It posted the matter for May 17, when it finally disposed of the case.