Activision hits viral TikToker with lawsuit after he threatened to sue the company for using his content

Activision hits viral TikToker with lawsuit after he threatened to sue the company for using his content
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WTF?! Activision is suing a TikToker after he tried to sue the company for using audio from one of his videos. The strange case involves TikTok creator/music critic/YouTuber Anthony Fantano, who uses the name TheNeedleTok or The Needle Drop, Crash Bandicoot, and pizza slices.

The story began with a TikTok Duet, which allows users to post videos side-by-side with videos from other creators, that Fantano made in 2021. The clip shows someone cutting a pizza into increasingly smaller slices, prompting him to eventually yell, “It’s enough slices!”

The clip went viral and turned into a meme. Activision claims that hundreds of thousands of TikTok users added the audio (usually the “it’s enough slices” line) into their own videos, which Fantano celebrated and boasted about.

It seems that Activision believed this meant it could also use the audio clip, in a TikTok video promoting Crash Bandicoot sneakers. Fantano disagreed, claiming it constituted a “false endorsement” of the sneakers and could mislead viewers into thinking he approved of or was otherwise connected to the sneakers, a violation of the 1946 Lanham Act, writes IGN. He contacted the publisher demanding it be removed or else he would sue, which they did “to avoid litigation, and without any admission of liability.”

Fantano contacted Activision again to say he was still prepared to file a lawsuit in New York, despite neither party residing there. Activision says it spoke to Fantano’s lawyer the next day and was told he was demanding “a six-figure sum” as a settlement. The lawyer also allegedly claimed that other companies had previously reached similar settlements with Fantano “to avoid the expense of litigation”.

Activision has pointed to other TikTokers’ use of the audio, referred to the platform’s ToS that states users “may […] extract all or any portion of User Content created by another user to produce additional User Content,” and noted that Fantano made the audio available in TikTok’s audio library deliberately for others to use.

Now, it’s Activision that is suing Fantano, to prevent his lawsuit from progressing. It seeks a jury trial in California and wants the court to declare that Activision is not in violation of the Lanham Act. It also seeks “fees and costs in bringing and pursuing this action.”

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