Friday, June 18, 2010

Shanghai World Expo 2010 Exposes Organisers' Lack of Creativity

In 2007 the Bureau of the Shanghai World Expo 2010 Coordination promulgated a special regulatation (See here: No. 11) concerning intellectual property rights. In short all participants to the World Expo were warned that they should comply to China's IPR laws, regulations and rules far in advance. "The General Administration of Press and Publication and the National Copyright Administration have also called for a rapid-response mechanism to protect the intellectual property rights of the Shanghai World Expo, meaning that copyright departments at all levels will check materials that may infringe on the copyrights of the Shanghai World Expo as soon as they are found." Read more here. That is laudatory indeed, but what about the Shanghai World Expo 2010 organization themselves? Do they also have to comply to the very same IPR laws, regulations and rules?

You probably have seen that 'Haibao', the expo mascot, was an unauthorised copy of an American cartoon figure Gumpy, read the Japan Probe article about it here.

Then the Shanghai Expo theme song 'Right here waiting for you' is an almost completely plagiarized song by Maya Okamoto from 1997 called 'Stay the way you are', listen to the two songs and read Japan Probe's article here.
The Shanghai World Expo and organizers first paid 10 million yuan for the plagiarized song and then had to pay 300 million yen to Ms Okamoto to settle the case. According Elaine Kurtenbach who wrote an article about ti for the Associated Press, the Shanghai World Expo organizers said that Ms Okamoto was honored to have a chance to cooperate with the event. Read the AP article here.

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