- TikTok parent company ByteDance appears to have sent a cease and desist email to LiveXLive, demanding that it cancel an upcoming influencer boxing event bearing its name.
- LiveXLive, which is hosting the “YouTubers vs. TikTokers” fight, received an email signed by the Global IP Protection & Enforcement team at TikTok parent ByteDance late last month.
- The email claims that LiveXLive used TikTok’s trademark without authorization and describes the event as “Covid unsafe and violent in nature.”
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
The organizer of an upcoming “YouTubers vs. TikTokers” amateur boxing event says it has received a cease and desist email that appears to be from ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company.
ByteDance wants LiveXLive, the music streaming platform producing and streaming the fight, to cancel “Social Gloves: Battle of the Platforms” and delete all promotions, according to the email, which was sent late last month and reviewed by Insider.
The June 12 event is set to feature YouTuber Austin McBroom boxing TikToker Bryce Hall in the main event in front of a stadium crowd in Miami and on pay-per-view.
The letter states that LiveXLive prominently uses TikTok’s trademark without authorization and that the event “is Covid unsafe and violent in nature.” TikTok’s logo appears on the event’s website.
“The Event is likely to mislead the public that it was endorsed by [TikTok] and put the Company’s reputation under risk,” according to the letter, which is signed by the global intellectual property protection and enforcement legal team at TikTok parent ByteDance. Insider attempted to call the phone number listed at the end of the letter, which went to an automated voicemail message, and received no response when emailing the sender’s address.
A TikTok spokesperson declined to comment. ByteDance did not respond to emailed requests for comment. The event organizers believe the cease and desist email to be authentic.
An event spokesperson said: “The organizers have recently become aware of an email which appears to have originated from ByteDance asking for the event to be cancelled. Social Gloves taps into the cultural zeitgeist by bringing together today’s biggest musicians and social influencers from platforms such as YouTube and TikTok in a competitive format. This event celebrates the global appeal of these creators and platforms and the excitement for this new form of entertainment, which is here to stay.”
The legal team for the event has reached out to TikTok regarding the content of the email, according to the spokesperson.
A spokesperson for YouTube told Insider that it’s common for creators to be referred to as YouTubers in non-YouTube events. The spokesperson said the company found it inspiring to see the variety of ways that creators are building businesses and continuing to grow both on and off its platform.
Influencer boxing first entered the mainstream in 2018 when YouTube creators KSI and Joe Weller fought at a sold-out event at London’s Copper Box Arena. More recently, TikTok competitor Triller has been arranging influencer boxing cards, including an April fight between YouTuber Jake Paul and former UFC fighter Ben Askren. ESPN reported that Paul will broadcast his next fight on Showtime.
As with any celebrity event, LiveXLive’s move to bring influencers into the ring has been the key to its promotion. Hall and McBroom are fighting alongside a roster of popular internet stars, including TikToker Michael Le (48.4 million TikTok followers) and YouTube gamer FaZe Jarvis (4.55 million YouTube subscribers).
The company noted at a recent JPMorgan conference that the combined social-media audience of its “Social Gloves” fighters is over 250 million users. Some influencers on its card have been regularly posting training montages and “beef” videos on TikTok and YouTube.
While the event is positioned as a social-media culture war between TikTok and YouTube, all of its fighters use both apps regularly.
“We’re not trying to prove that these kids are the next Muhammad Ali,” LiveXLive CEO Robert Ellin told Insider in an interview last month. “We want this to be fun. We want it to be energetic. We want it to be entertaining for the kids.”
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