Smart Study, the Korean Edtech startup, announced it would produce its hit TV animation series ‘Baby Shark’s Big Show’ into a movie with Nickelodeon, the world’s largest kids entertainment channel. The startup recently won a court case of copyright infringement against an American toddler music entertainer for the rendition of the song “Baby Shark.”
Season 2 and Movie of Baby Shark
‘The Baby Shark’s Big Show’ is a series created by Smart Study and Nickelodeon using the IP (intellectual property) of ‘Pinkfong Baby Shark’ in 2019 and aired in the US, UK, Italy, and Australia. It will be released in the second half of this year in Korea. The movie produced this time will expand the characters and worldview of the TV series to deliver various values of life through the story of a Baby Shark who explores the world under the sea. Smart Study and Nickelodeon will also produce Season 2 of the TV series, which will air first in the US market.
Kim Min-seok, CEO of Smart Study, said, “We will recreate Baby Shark Big Show as a new TV series and movie, which will give a different kind of fun and emotion to the family audience.” Nickelodeon President Ramsey Naito said, “We will present content that combines ‘Super IP’ by strengthening collaboration with Smart Study, which caused a syndrome with Pinkfong Baby Shark IP and the experience accumulated as the world’s largest kids channel.”
Baby Shark’s big win in the court
Meanwhile, Smart Study received a court ruling recently that the nursery rhyme ‘Shark Family,’ which also appeared on the US Billboard chart, did not infringe the copyright of an American composer. Shark Family was a nursery rhyme inserted in Pinkfong, an early childhood education content, in 2015. It gained popularity with its addictive chorus and easy lyrics called ‘True, True.’
On July 23, the Seoul Central District Court ruled that the plaintiff lost the lawsuit filed by American nursery rhyme composer Jonathan Robert Wright (stage name Johnny Only) against Smart Study. Johnny Only claimed that the shark family plagiarized the second work ‘Baby Shark’, which he remade in 2011 by giving unique characteristics to oral nursery rhymes. In March 2019, a lawsuit was filed against Smart Study to compensate for damages caused by copyright infringement. On the other hand, Smart Study countered that it was a remake of a North American nursery rhyme, not Johnny Only’s Baby Shark.
The Korea Copyright Commission, designated by the court as a professional appraiser, concluded that it was not plagiarism. In Johnny Only’s Baby Shark, it was judged that no new accompaniment was added from the existing oral nursery rhymes, there were no creative elements, and no substantial resemblance to the shark family was found.
- South Korea now has 15 unicorn startups, ‘Baby Shark’ wins the case and other news
- Top 5 K-Content Korean startups looking to hit the ‘unicorn’ status
- Korean startup BEMYPET making pet-companionship fun for children with entertaining content
- Korean startup Talking About Inc. globalizing YouTube content through language localization