Bird Marella Wins Copyright-Infringement Lawsuit for International K-Pop Sensation BTS and Record Label HYBE

Bird Marella attorneys Ekwan Rhow, Timothy Yoo, and Ray Seilie won a judgment in favor of their clients BTS and HYBE Corporation (formerly Big Hit Entertainment) in a copyright-infringement lawsuit brought against them (and their co-defendant CJ E&M) in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiff alleged that the idea for CJ E&M and HYBE’s reality show I-Land was stolen from a written treatment for his original television series idea, “Island Hip-Hopping.”

The Honorable Dolly M. Gee agreed with Bird Marella’s argument that the protected elements (if any) of the plaintiff’s treatment lacked sufficient similarity with the elements of the I-LAND show, and concluded that the plaintiff’s claims must fail as a matter of law.

On March 28, 2022, Judge Gee granted Bird Marella’s motion to dismiss—in a rare occurrence, without leave to amend—and dismissed the entire case with prejudice. Judge Gee entered judgment in favor of Bird Marella’s clients and CJ E&M on the firm’s first and only motion to dismiss.

BTS and HYBE founder and Chairman, Bang Si-Hyuk, were recently featured in the April 2022 issue of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Companies.

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