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Sony pulls its own PlayStation 4 promo video accused of ripping animations

As the second instalment of its kind, the PlayStation 4 Lineup Music Video Winter Mix was supposed to showcase Sony's extensive game catalogue while accompanied by beautiful music and creative animations. It appears to have failed the creativity part, however, as it's been accused of ripping multiple animations from the work of other artists - including students.

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eurogamer.net
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ziggurcat497d ago

"Eurogamer has contacted Sony for comment.

In this case, it appears the fault probably lies more with the director than Sony - which was likely unaware of the ripping until now. Seeing as Bao's Instagram has gone private and his agency portfolio has been removed, he's probably aware he's in big trouble."

Not Sony.

Wasabi497d ago (Edited 497d ago )

@ziggurcat

***"Not Sony"***

I can't get behind this ziggurcat,

Bao may well be ultimately responsible, but as a huge International corporation, Sony should have done their homework as part of their due diligence before they released the video to the public.

It wouldn't have been difficult, there's large parts of the video stolen directly from multiple creators.

travestyj497d ago (Edited 497d ago )

How do you propose Sony Japan's marketing department go through billions of hours of animation that exists to see if it was plagiarized?

rainslacker497d ago

@frag

When you contract a company to make something like this, it's actually their responsibility to do the homework. If Sony made the product, like a. Instance they had with TLOU, they either didnt do the research, or didnt turn up anything for ab asset that very well could have been created by a contracted employee, and they got called out, and responded to the claim with the copyright holder, and apparently resolved the issue.

If Sony became aware of the infraction after release, removing the offending comment is the typical and expected thing to do, until it can be settled. If there are any monetary damages from it, the media company making it will be held liable, as is typical with contracts like this.

Sony would only be held responsible if they didn't take action when an infraction was made known, because even with research, it's not always just super easy to just find whatever may exist, and there is only so much time that can be devoted to such things.

Wasabi497d ago

@ziggurcat
@Travestyj
@rainslacker

You've convinced me. I change my mind.

Not cool Kevin Bao, not cool.

https://twitter.com/catsuka...

ziggurcat497d ago

"@ziggurcat

***"Not Sony"***

I can't get behind this ziggurcat,

Bao may well be ultimately responsible, but as a huge International corporation, Sony should have done their homework as part of their due diligence before they released the video to the public."

I agree with you to an extent, but the person responsible for the plagiarism is Bao, not Sony. Sony did the right thing by pulling the ad.

Wasabi497d ago

@Ziggurcat

***"I agree with you to an extent, but the person responsible for the plagiarism is Bao, not Sony. Sony did the right thing by pulling the ad"***

I agree, Sony did do the right thing by pulling the ad as soon as the issue became apparent, I also agree that it was ultimately Bao's fault, It's unfortunate as Sony will undoubtedly feel the heat for Bao's wrongdoing.

IamTylerDurden1497d ago

Zigg is right.

The director is at fault, it's unfortunate that it falls under Sony's banner but how tf would Sony executives know these were ripped?

They hired someone to make the add, said person screwed up. Don't make it out to be some nefarious plan by Sony.

Stopac497d ago

Sony is probably coming after him and his agency’s ass for this.

From popular movie and tv animations to even student portfolios works. His other work is highly plagiarized too. He’s got the wrath of the animation community that’s for sure.

KillBill497d ago

@Wasabi - likely they did their homework and noticed the guy had worked with Disney before and won awards for his work. Hard to spot a con-man until the masses point it out.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 497d ago
travestyj497d ago

Read the article, it isn't Sony's fault

"In this case, it appears the fault probably lies more with the director than Sony - which was likely unaware of the ripping until now. Seeing as Bao's Instagram has gone private and his agency portfolio has been removed, he's probably aware he's in big trouble."

Christopher497d ago

"Bao may well be ultimately responsible, but as a huge International corporation, Sony should have done their homework as part of their due diligence before they released the video to the public."

That's not at all how it works. They hire someone and have insurance against them for these things. They don't heavily investigate everything at that level. That's what courts are for and most businesses in their agreement note this and don't do it. The company involved will be heavily litigated for this issue.

Wasabi497d ago

@Christopher

***"They hire someone and have insurance against them for these things. They don't heavily investigate everything at that level"***

Seems like a very reactive Vs proactive way to do business, especially considering the evidence that this is not the first time Kevin Bao has used other creators work and sold it as his own.

https://twitter.com/catsuka...

Litigation aside, a little due diligence on the part of Sony would have gone a long way in avoiding the negative media coverage that has arisen because of this oversight, I'm sure Sony will be more assiduous when deciding which contracted artists to use in the future.

Christopher497d ago (Edited 497d ago )

"Seems like a very reactive Vs proactive way to do business"

You mean the way business is handled most of the time when contracting people? The proactive is in contract specifications and insurance, which is rarely not enough to deter such things.

"Litigation aside, a little due diligence on the part of Sony would have gone a long way in avoiding the negative media coverage that has arisen because of this oversight"

No previous case against the company they hired and likely no dictating who directed or knowing until it was done. Kind of like marketing, you hire them to make a marketing plan and theme for you, you don't know if the guy in charge is a pedophile or is a member of a hate group or the like. They aren't hiring the guy specifically, but went with the company after they had the better proposal.

I'm not sure you understand how this works, but it is similar to an RFP where they present creative concepts as the way to sell the potential of their company to provide the marketing product, it's not based on "people" usually and just on the theme and how people at Sony consider it over the others.

Wasabi497d ago (Edited 497d ago )

@Christopher

***"I'm not sure you understand how this works"***

You're right, I don't know how it works - video game marketing is not my area of expertise! :)

I just find it incredibly hard to imagine that of all the employees from Sony's marketing department that must have viewed Bao's animation prior to it being approved, not one person noticed that the animation used frames and images derived from Cartoon Networks Steven Universe : The Movie and Japanese anime FLCL, these are huge multi million dollar animated franchises, not obscure, unheard of pieces of work.

rainslacker497d ago

@Wasabi

They may have recognized it, but marketing teams, or those that approve the final product, would be under the assumption that the content was properly licensed. The media company making the content in this case would be responsible for that, and marketing firms are supposed to do their due diligence. Sony's diligence is in the contracts as Chris says.

This isn't the first case of this happening. It probably happens more than we realize. Sometimes it's intentional infringement, other times it's unintentional. In either case, the company contracting the work decides how to proceed once the claim is made. They either settle with an agreement to continue using the content like was done in TLOU where a image of a railway map was used by an artist that was missed during asset protection(the term used to make sure that no copyrighted work is used. They may pull the content immediately, which is usually enough to solve any copyright claim since most copyright claims require that infringer continue to infringe despite cease and desist since they would have been officially informed. Or, they continue using the content without consideration of the original copyright holder which surprisingly, a lot of companies get away with more than you know because a lot of copyright owners can't afford litigation for financial remedy, and at best can only rely on 3rd party services to hope to make a company or entity stand down(like you see with YouTube and how they moderate their own content....but YouTube will not fight it out for you in court).

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 497d ago
nucky64497d ago Show
KillBill497d ago

Too be fair they simply hired someone to make it for them and this person had done work for Disney before. As soon as they found out about it they took the video down.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 497d ago
Sm00thNinja497d ago

Eesh not a good look. I'm sure they'll fix it

gangsta_red497d ago

"...it's been accused of ripping multiple animations from the work of other artists - including students."

Harsh, and ripping from Steven Universe?? Seriously?

Ricegum497d ago ShowReplies(2)
MasterCornholio497d ago

That director is in big trouble. Sony did the right thing by pulling the ad as soon as the issue was made.

XtaZ497d ago ShowReplies(1)
isarai497d ago

And here come people blaming Sony when it's the marketing agency thats to blame.

Ricegum497d ago Show
King_Noctis497d ago

You are right though, the mistake fall mostly on the marketing agency. BUT, doesn’t Sony have their own marketing team that cross check any marketing materials to avoid issues like this? They can’t just green light everything the agency put out without checking them first.

rainslacker497d ago (Edited 497d ago )

One could ask that of Xbox as well. They have their own outside marketing firm....which is also responsible for content on their website. Remember when they posted Sony's PS4 games on their website before the launch of the system?

It happens. Not everyone pays attention. It's not like the execs at the top are viewing this stuff to decide if it's right. Things slip through, and what's important is how it's handled once the problem is found.

The truth of the matter is is that marketing teams don't always know everything about what they're selling. Their job is to market what they're told to market, and that doesn't always mean understanding or even knowing what something is. It seems counter intuitive, but marketing isn't necessarily about relaying info about a product, but relaying what the company wants people to know.

rob-GP496d ago

Here comes the Sony hate-train...

They commission someone to make a video, they got the video, they posted it. The video was made up of numerous pieces of animations from various sources, most being small indie animators who nobody knows or would recognise instantly - hence why those were chosen to copy. Look at that Fillip guy, he stole a small YouTubers review because he thought nobody would compare the two.

The fault lies with the one who created the animation, not the person who asked for it and not the marketing firm, the one who submitted and got paid for the work. There is literally no way anyone could have seen everything uploaded to YouTube or Twitter in regards to small-time animations, or anyone who has watched every single animated work and can recall a single scene which is comprised of a few seconds.

As such, laying the blame on those who commissioned the guy isn't really valid or possible. It's a bond of trust which was clearly broken once some who had seen the comparisons had spotted it and pointed it out, causing all parties to promptly cut ties and remove all evidence until further action has been decided upon.

NeoGamer232497d ago

And who hired the marketing agency? Whether you like it or not Sony selected them and asked them to deliver. Maybe they should find more reputable business partners.

ShadowWolf712496d ago

And you don't think that it's reasonable to assume that an award-winning artist with a resume that includes companies like Disney is reputable?

What, are they supposed to peruse his entire catalog and compare it to every piece of animation out there before signing anything? Or is it far more reasonable to place trust in those credentials and then, if that trust is violated, act accordingly?

Which is what they did, and quickly.

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