EDM musician Nigel Stanford put out a track called Cymatics in 2009, and its 2014 music video seems to have been blatantly copied by Huawei in an ad for its MediaPad S3 Lite tablet. While Huawei recently took down the video of its own accord, Stanford made a collage of side by side pictures showing his video compared to Huawei's, and the similarities are striking.
While the video is now gone, it is reported that the background music sounded similar to Cymatics. The similarity in the imagery is preserved, and it's quite an obvious resemblance. The picture created by Stanford, as well as the Cymatics video, are at the bottom of the article for your approval.
Background: Huawei is one of the world's largest smartphone vendors, and has usually kept close to competitors' devices and features, but with its own little touches. With the Matebook X laptop, for example, Huawei made a clear pass at Apple's famous Macbook, but added in many of its own features and some original styling.
This incident, if it is indeed what it's made out to be, won't be the first time that Huawei has outright copied a competitor or anybody else for that matter. While that's not uncommon in the smartphone arena these days, or even in tech at large, it does add a bit more credence to Stanford's claims.
In this incident, Huawei is apparently looking into the matter and hasn't said much else in any official capacity. Stanford has yet to update his followers beyond the fact that the company has not yet spoken to him about it, and is being reached out to with an outpouring of support and multiple offers of legal counsel.
Impact: Though Huawei has been accused of copycatting many times before in many different instances, the company actually being openly called out on that behavior by the party that it's accused of copying seems quite rare. This incident, then, may well set a precedent that forces Huawei to step up its originality in both its products and the software, advertising, and other factors surrounding them.
Copying other companies in its own space is one thing, but ripping off a musician who's been around since before the turn of the millennium is decidedly an out-of-place happening. While there would likely need to be definitive proof of malicious intent on the part of somebody at Huawei before any legal proceedings could get rolling, the company is definitely aware that something is amiss, as evidenced by the video's removal.
Whether this will spin out into a full-on legal battle can't be said just yet, nor can it be said just what Huawei will say to Stanford when and if it does eventually reach out to him. Since the company did say it's checking into the matter, it's probably waiting on the results of that internal inquiry before it goes to Stanford. Given Huawei's sheer size and how many people its ads normally end up reaching, Stanford may just be in for quite the payday before this is all said and done.