Pada pertengahan November 2022, Riot Music membawa kabar yang cukup ramai bagi penggemarnya. Namun, kabar ini bukanlah kabar gembira, melainkan kabar bahwa Saki Ashizawa Dipecat dari Riot Music. Saki sendiri merupakan salah satu generasi awal vtuber Riot Music yang memulai debutnya pada bulan Mei 2020. Saki Ashizawa dipecat secara resmi pada 17 November 2022. Hal ini dapat diartikan bahwa Saki telah melakukan aktivitas bersama Riot Music kurang lebih 30 bulan lamanya.
Konflik dan Dampak
Riot Music menyatakan bahwa pemecatan ini diakibatkan adanya beberapa poin pada pelanggaran kontrak. Poin pertama yang dipermasalahkan oleh Riot Music adalah eksklusivitas dalam pemeranan Vtuber. Riot Music menyatakan bahwa pihak yang berada di balik karakter Saki Ashizawa telah menjalankan aktivitas lain sebagai vtuber di luar karakter Saki Ashizawa.
Riot Music juga menyatakan adanya pelanggaran terhadap penggunaan aset audio yang diperuntukkan khusus untuk menjalankan aktivitas sebagai Saki Ashizawa. Aset tersebut digunakan sebagai audio karaoke pada karakter lain di luar Saki Ashizawa
Akibat dari kedua hal tersebut, Riot Music mengungkapkan bahwa secara otomatis kontrak kedua belah pihak gugur secara hukum. Secara implisit, hal tersebut dapat diartikan bahwa Saki Ashizawa dipecat dari Riot Music sebagai pemberi kerja.
Riot Music menjelaskan secara lebih lanjut beberapa langkah yang akan dilakukan setelah Saki Ashizawa dipecat. Langkah pertama adalah penutupan seluruh sosial media atas nama Saki Ashizawa baik berupa Twitter, Tiktok, Youtube, dan sebagainya. Seluruh informasi pada sosial media akan dihapus dan konten yang telah diunggah tidak dapat diakses oleh publik. Riot juga akan menghentikan seluruh penjualan merchandise Saki Ashizawa termasuk pula stiker Line. Penutupan dan penghentian ini akan dilaksanakan pada 31 Desember 2022
Pernyataan Lengkap Riot Music
Berikut ini pernyataan penuh yang disampaikan oleh Riot Music melalui saluran informasi resmi mereka:
“Notice of Saki Ashizawa’s Contract Dissolution
Thank you for your continued support for RIOT MUSIC and our artists.
SuperYellow Inc., the company who operates RIOT MUSIC, has confirmed a significant breach of contract conducted by the talent, hereby referred to as Person A, who plays the character of Saki Ashizawa, hereby referred to as Saki Ashizawa, intelectual property of SuperYellow Inc.. Due to the nature of the violation, as of today 11/17/2022(JST) the contract has been terminated.
We would like to summarize and make transparent the violations of contract below:
- Engaging in VTuber activities under another name without SuperYellow Inc.’s express permission
After a thorough investigation by SuperYellow Inc., we have discovered Person A, the talent portraying Saki Ashizawa, has been conducting VTuber activities under a different name starting at the latest in August, 2022. According to the terms of Person A’s contact, taking on outside VTuber activities without SuperYellow Inc.’s explicit consent is forbidden. Absolutely no prior consultation about these activities took place.
- Person A conducted activities overly similar to Saki Ashizawa’s utilizing an outside VTuber model and name.
While Person A did not go as far as to use the name Saki Ashizawa, they had posted images exceedingly similar to those on the official Saki Ashizawa accounts. Further, they streamed game-footage playing the same games and same characters in those games as the Saki Ashizawa character had been, Through many various small acts, fans would be able to discern that this VTuber was being portrayed by the same person as Saki Ashizawa.
- Karaoke audio produced by SuperYellow Inc. had been utilized by Person A during their outside VTuber activity vithout explicit permission. The aforementioned karaoke audio was licensed and produced by SuperYellow Inc. explicitly to be used for Saki Ashizawa’s activities.
Person A’s actions openly violate the non-competition and confidentiality conditions stipulated in their contract with SuperYellow Inc.. They state, “You can not engage in any outside VTuber activities without our permission.” We perceive this as an illegal act that infringes on our rights and property.
To that end, we feel that it is difficult to proceed with our contractual relationship with Person A who has continually breached the terms of said contract since August, 2022 at the latest.
Regarding the VTuber activty conducted under a different name outside SuperYellow Inc., we’ve already requested Person A to delete their accounts through their lawyer, and plan to take legal action we have deemed necessary after consultation with our lawyer.
As of now, the following SNS channels associated with Saki Ashizawa will stop being updated. The information on all of these below channel will be deleted on 12/31/2022, no longer viewable to the public. Note all other accounts on various SNS platforms bearing the narne Saki Ashizawa are not official, and we have either already asked or shall immediately request their removal.
- Youtube (Main Channel, Sub-Channel)
- LINE Stickers
- Merchandise Sales
We deeply apologize for the concern and inconvenience this may cause to everyone.
We want to further be transparent about what has occurred with Person A regarding Saki Ashizawa over the last few months.
In early September, 2022, Person A informed us of their wishes to longer continue with their contract conducting activities as Saki Ashizawa. At this time, Person A motioned for us to rescind the non-competition agreement post-termination of contract, on the basis that this non-competition stipulation was illegal as it remained in effect after the termination of said contract.
After consulting with our lawyer, we offered to Person A our explanation that this was not an illegal stipulation and provided legal documentation as to why, as well as why we could not immediately revoke our contract. However, we wanted to take Person A’s desires into account and offered an alternative arrangement that would ease the non-competition clause.
Person A responded to our offer by saying “I have already consulted with my lawyer. Cancel the entire agreement as the non-competition stipulation is illegal.” We had responded to Person A by saying “Based on our explanation, we would like you to consult with your lawyer once again, and would appreciate their cooperation in discussions vith our lawyer.” However we received no further response from Person A’s lawyer and the situation stagnated for some time.
Additionally, we had been preparing for several months to hold a special birthday live concert for Saki Ashizawa. Our team remained ready to put on this event until this serious breach of contract was discovered.
To further clarify about, Person A themselves informed us on October 23, 2022 “I would like the birthday live concert to be held at this particular time.” However, discussions about when to formally dissolve their contract had not continued, so we communicated to them it was impossible to commit to their requested time not knowing when Person A’s activities with SuperYellow Inc. would come to an end.
When we discussed this position with Person A and informed them of “not being able to commit to this timeframe.” they proposed the idea of simply “not holding the birthday live concert event.”
Following this, Person A as Saki Ashizawa on a publically viewable streaming broadcasted repeatedly claimed it was entirely RIOT MUSIC / SuperYellow Inc.’s fault the Saki Ashizawa birthday live concert was not held. Additionally, we were able to confirm they made a number of comments that undermined our reputation and unnecessarily critiqued the other members of RIOT MUSIC.
As we outlined above, at no time did Super Yellow Inc. decide to not hold this birthday live concert. Even after Person A informed us of their desire for contract termination , and them submitting “live event opt out” forums, we didn’t give up on the possibility of hosting this event until the very end.
We opted to remain quiet about these ongoing internal discussions in order to protect the credibility of our intellectual property, Saki Ashizawa and by extension Person A. At this point we have no choice but to state their claims are completely untrue, and we openly deny them.
The next day, October 24, 2022, Super Yellow Inc. received a letter (dated October 21, 2022) that Person A would only communicate through their lawyer going forward, From then on, our communications have been handled by our respective lawyers.
In our following correspondence, SuperYellow Inc. has maintained the view that the non-compete clause remains legal, however we have clearly clarified to Person A’s lawyer that our real concern was with the dissemination of SuperYellow Inc.’s assets and information and that in no way did we wish to interfere with Person A’s future activities even if they were to join a competing organization. To that end we presented further alternatives for easing the non-competition obligation.
We also reiterated to Person A’s lawyer that we would be open to holiday the aforementioned birthday live concert event if we could come to an agreement on a date for contract termination.
Unfortunately, while these negotiations were ongoing, we discovered Person A’s serious and ongoing breach of contract leading to the immediate dissolution of said contract.
To everyone that supported Saki Ashizawa until now we deeply apologize for potentially upsetting you with this information, and so suddenly at that. We are committing to further compliance training to ensure an incident like this does not occur again.
We appreciate your continued support of RIOT MUSIC.
Director / Executive Producer
Langkah Ke Depan Riot
“Keputusan cepat Saki Ashizawa dipecat” Riot setidaknya mulai mempengaruhi promosi karakter Riot. Per 17 November 2022 Riot tidak lagi menampilkan karakter Saki Ashizawa pada banner utama Twitter Riot Music. Sub label Blitz Wing juga melakukan langka yang sama dengan menghilangkan referensi Saki Ashizawa. Di luar ranah Twitter, situs resmi Riot Music juga telah menghilangkan referensi Saki Ashizawa pada halaman talenta mereka. Belum ada informasi mengenai langkah lanjutan kedua belah pihak terhadap kejadian ini