So it looks like SM Entertainment wasn’t at fault for the EXO teaser plagiarism accusations from Erik Söderberg and that the entire thing was just a huge misunderstanding involving 3rd parties.
SM Entertainment purchased the rights to Söderberg’s work using a 3rd party production company call VM Production.
However, Söderberg didn’t realize that VM Production was purchasing his work to be used for SM Entertainment, which caused all of the confusion.
When he and his other designers saw his work being used by “SMTOWN“, they thought that their work had been plagiarized.
SM Entertainment contacted VM Production to rectify the issue. VM talked to Söderberg and worked everything out.
Söderberg withdrew his copyright infringement claims against EXO’s teaser video and the video is currently back up on YouTube.
On Twitter, Söderberg stated that SM Entertainment isn’t at fault here and that VM Production is.
This is all a case of mis-communication and now everything is good.
Here is NetizenBuzz:statement about the issue, posted on
To clarify what happened. It’s not the question about plagiarism. That was the phrase used by Soompi. It was a question of copyright infringement.
VM Production had used copyright protected material from me and others when making the video. So, they made the mistake, not SM.
The only misstake made by SM was to not answer our first notice of copyright infringement done already in december. The only way to get an reaction was then to go via youtube and report the copyright issue there.
I believe SM was sure that VM had the all the copyright right permissions under control, but they clearly missed that part for me and a couple of other designers.
VM have now properly payed a licens for using the material in the video and terms have been agreed, by that it is no longer blocked on YouTube.
Here are there comments that k-nets and EXO-L had about the situation, translated by NetizenBuzz:
1. [+218, -5] Yeah, SM even bought a picture from NASA, there’s no way they’d be this careless
2. [+209, -6] EXO fans didn’t even shield this and stayed quiet the whole time. I hope everyone who took this as an opportunity to attack us will get the boomerang treatment right back.
3. [+84, -0] SM even bought a picture of space from NASA to use as their homepage background;
4. [+80, -3] So that Swedish designer is the idiot in all of this
5. [+54, -1] I was really proud at how quiet EXO-L stayed during all of this. I feel like we’ve finally learned how to deal with scandals ㅠㅠ And I’m glad that it’s not plagiarism, I hope it’s all figured out soon.
6. [+53, -0] So what’s going on? SM hired a company to produce their teaser and the company bought the rights from the original designer but the original designer didn’t know it was being used for SM?
7. [+31, -1] The fans who stayed quiet instead of making up shields had a lot to do with the scandal not being as controversial. I was so scared when the accusation first came out but SM responded quickly so I was glad.