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On twitter I've seen a bunch of people posting this story claiming Sano had legitimately plagiarized other designs for a Suntory campaign. This is obvious, since these designs are obviously copied.

http://twinavi.jp/topics/tidbits/55cc5513-09c8-4005-a58b-50e95546ec81?ref=tweet

However, it's best to know the full story.

Designer admits colleague copied others' work

A Japanese designer has acknowledged that a colleague at his company copied the work of other artists when the firm did design work for a major beverage maker.

Kenjiro Sano has been in the media spotlight because of the close similarity between the logo he created for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and a Belgian designer's logo for a local theater.

Sano apologized in a statement on his company's website on Friday regarding the firm's work for the beverage maker. He said he feels a sense of responsibility and says that such a thing should never have happened.

The problem surfaced when tote bags his company designed for major brewery Suntory came to the attention of Internet users because they looked like designs in other art works.

The brewer has been giving away the bags to customers as part of a sales campaign for its non-alcoholic beer.

On Thursday, at the request of Sano, the company withdrew 8 designs from a list of 30 patterns that customers could choose from.

Sano said an in-house investigation proved his staff copied other artists' work. He said he had no knowledge of that and had never been informed about the matter.

After the logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was unveiled in July, a Belgium-based graphic designer claimed it closely resembles one he created for a local theater 2 years ago.

The Belgian designer is demanding that the International Olympic Committee not use Sano's logo for the Tokyo Games.

Regarding the Olympic logo, Sano again denied allegations he copied the Belgian designer's work.

He said he created it by himself, not with his staff, and so the process in designing the logo was totally different from that used for the bags.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/20150815_11.html

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Morally, Sabie is right. But since they did not register or trademark their logo, and Tokyo 2020 did its due diligence based on what's registered, I think Sabie really has a very weak leg to stand on. The best that he can do and for Tokyo to let this go away quickly, is to make him a reasonable settlement without admission of wrong doing. And either change their logo, or pay Theatre de Liege to come up with another logo.

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Wow, this is seriously turning onto a big disaster (the whole issue with the logo). Its really sad and dissapointing to see this and its kinda now making me wish they change it if these claims of plagiarism are true.

Meanwhile I found this proposal on Twitter, which is SO much better while still being minimalist and having a strong japanese feel.

CMm6YbdWsAAo2Wx.jpg

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I saw that one and all the other proposals, and in my opinion the fan or the blossom or the tokyo city logo are all a little too cliché for an olympic logo. If all logos were created to show the one part of the host city and country's culture that the world is already familiar with, we might have had a Christ the Redeemer statue for Rio, Big Ben for London (again, weirdly enough), Mao for Beijing, and on and on.

The idea is that the logo should be recognizable around the world, but shouldn't be created to show something that the world already knows about the city and country. Sure, it's hard to see how Tokyo's official logo represents the city, but the story behind it demonstrates the same values that the games and the IOC share. This is just my opinion and I understand that a successful logo should be targeted to a worldwide audience, but I personally think that strategy simply takes the most popular (and most fetishized) aspect of the respective culture and recycles it like with any other logo for an event in the city or country.

Unrelated to my point, the lawsuit is officially filed at the IOC and I assume TOCOG as well that, if Debie wins, he will get reparations of US $55,000 each time the logo is used. I understand he doesn't want a logo similar to his to be used on such a large scale, but it does seem that he's trying to milk this situation to his benefit instead of standing by his original argument of artistic integrity. To put it in perspective, the Olympic logo is used very often, so if Debie wins a lot of money will be lost by the IOC and the TOCOG budget.


(source: http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1029426/tokyo-2020-logo-designer-apologises-amid-plagiarism-allegations )

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/\/\ He-he. Nice story the logo is turning into. They came up with dynamic logos for the previous bids. How could they have picked such a lame one for the real thing? I mean, organizing committees apparently get artistic lobotomies after they get selected.

Admitting the plagiarism of the Suntory tote bags is not good for Sano's case and sort of bolsters Debie's case. I'm wondering though what court Debie filed his case and how it has merit since his logo was not registered???

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I'm wondering though what court Debie filed his case and how it has merit since his logo was not registered???

Registration of a trade mark merely links a design (or text) with a given business entity. In European law, the design is subject to copyright (and associated "moral rights") as soon as it is published, with no other registration required.

However, if TOCOG can, by the time the case gets to court, find an even earlier design, so old that its copyright has expired, which their logo (and the Belgian logo) might have plagiarised, then the situation gets really silly.

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I really hate the flower blossoms and fans for Tokyo. That's not what Japan is now. The Olympic Games can be used to rebrand a city or country. Tokyo is making their logo a representation of a new Japan. An industrialised Japan.

I thought the Japanese want to have their identity more "green" because Japan wants to back to nature to develop their agriculture skills so I'm not sure this logo is representing Japan for me...
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Registration of a trade mark merely links a design (or text) with a given business entity. In European law, the design is subject to copyright (and associated "moral rights") as soon as it is published, with no other registration required.

However, if TOCOG can, by the time the case gets to court, find an even earlier design, so old that its copyright has expired, which their logo (and the Belgian logo) might have plagiarised, then the situation gets really silly.

OK,...except Switzerland isn't part of the EU, and that's where the IOC conducts its business. So I still don't understand what Euro court would take the case and have jurisdiction over the IOC when it is sited in a non-member state? There are such things as jurisdictions, ya know.

Not unless Debie is suing the IOC thru the Belgian Oly Committee...so, obviously, in Brussels or Leige? What is the court at Strasbourg?

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I heard a Belgian court, maybe so that they're more likely to side with him? I don't know if he chose a local or a national level court, though.

OK, that would be his only available route. It would probably be a superior court (or something higher than a local or municipal court) since the awards he asks are rather large; and the defendants include not only the Belgian Olympic Committee but the IOC as well. So a higher court would have the bearing and gravitas to be able to issue or ask the Swiss justice system (if they have a reciprocity agreement) to serve a summons to the IOC in Lausanne--and by extension TOCOG. Even though TOCOG is under no obligation to even look at a summons from a Belgian court.

This is really getting interesting. This will be one for the books. Good for Debie and the Theatre de Leige!! I hope the IOC and TOCOG settle with him ASAP if they know what's good for them--especially now that the Tokyo designer has admitted some plagiarism on the part of his office.

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Hollywood has the copyright for the Happy Birthday song,

Uhmmm...it's more complicated than that....

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/nyregion/lawsuit-aims-to-strip-happy-birthday-to-you-of-its-copyright.html?_r=0

The Belgian has a case; he got there first. All TOCOG and the IOC have to do, is provide him a settlement...and this will go away.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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OK,...except Switzerland isn't part of the EU, and that's where the IOC conducts its business. So I still don't understand what Euro court would take the case and have jurisdiction over the IOC when it is sited in a non-member state? There are such things as jurisdictions, ya know.

Not unless Debie is suing the IOC thru the Belgian Oly Committee...so, obviously, in Brussels or Leige? What is the court at Strasbourg?

Universal Copyright Convention, 1952

Article II, section 1:

"Published works of nationals of any Contracting State and works first published in that State shall enjoy in each other Contracting State the same protection as that other State accords to works of its nationals first published in its own territory."

i.e. the case should be heard in a Japanese court.

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Universal Copyright Convention, 1952

Article II, section 1:

"Published works of nationals of any Contracting State and works first published in that State shall enjoy in each other Contracting State the same protection as that other State accords to works of its nationals first published in its own territory."

i.e. the case should be heard in a Japanese court.

Perhaps it should...but it TAKES $$ to hire international lawyers. And I don't think the Theatre de Leige is exaclty awash with money. So Debie (so far, we haven't heard that the TdL has joined him as a plaintiff) seems to be the only Plaintiff for now; but he can file in Belgium.. But as I said, it takes money to launch a suit halfway around the world -- not unless they have found an int'l law firm who will do it pro bono....or an int'l law firm who hates the IOC enough to take up the cudgels for Debie. I mean, the IOC has high-powered lawyers on retainer.

I wonder if the lawyers who tussled with LOCOG in that Atopia-innovation-cauldron issue have stepped forward to represent Debie??

I don't know what their laws are in SWITZ, but he could certainly file there as well since the IOC approved the designs and they are a partner of TOCOG in profiting from the marketing of the design. So if it were me, I would file in Zurich, Geneva or Lausanne over Japan or Belgium. The neutrality of the venue should not entice TOCOG to make itself scarce in the proceedings.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I wonder if the lawyers who tussled with LOCOG in that Atopia-innovation-cauldron issue have stepped forward to represent Debie??

Probably not, because there was no actual tussle with LOCOG. They waited until just after LOCOG was dissolved and tussled with the accountants. Debie's lawyers probably won't be able to take a similar shortcut.

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Probably not, because there was no actual tussle with LOCOG. They waited until just after LOCOG was dissolved and tussled with the accountants. Debie's lawyers probably won't be able to take a similar shortcut.

That's because little Debbie over there doesn't even have a case. The problem isn't even that his design isn't properly registered. The problem is that this guy is being anal about nothing more than an incidental similarity involving the placement of basic shapes. It can never seriously be taken as plagiarism. At this day and age, these kinds of coincidences are impossible to avoid. Take the Rio logo for instance. I'll be damned if I haven't recognized the very same motif many times before.

This only comes to further prove that the only cool Belgians ever were Tintin and Hercule Poirot.

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That's because little Debbie over there doesn't even have a case. The problem isn't even that his design isn't properly registered. The problem is that this guy is being anal about nothing more than an incidental similarity involving the placement of basic shapes. It can never seriously be taken as plagiarism. At this day and age, these kinds of coincidences are impossible to avoid. Take the Rio logo for instance. I'll be damned if I haven't recognized the very same motif many times before.

This only comes to further prove that the only cool Belgians ever were Tintin and Hercule Poirot.

Atopia's success in getting an out-of-court settlement, despite many very dubious aspects to their case, is one reason why Debie does have a pretty good chance of winning in one way or another. The Olympic movement really doesn't want to be seen throwing its weight around against the "little guy" these days.

PS: Jean-Claude van Damme.

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Little bit of new allegations, but I think you'll agree that this time it's a little ridiculous. Maybe this designer saw the opportunity for a little free cash from a lawsuit.

Tokyo Olympics logo designer faces fresh plagiarism claim from U.S. artist

Another work by Tokyo Olympics logo designer Kenjiro Sano is generating concern about plagiarism, this time in the United States, with an American artist saying he is considering legal action.

Sano’s design for the 2020 Games has prompted a lawsuit in Belgium alleging plagiarism of a logo for a theater, an accusation he denies. But he admitted last week that his team “traced” other people’s designs for eight of 30 promotional tote bags offered by a beverage company in an ongoing campaign through this month.

The latest case concerns Sano’s logo for a museum and library building being constructed in Ota, Gunma Prefecture. The design features circled dots and straight lines representing “BITO” in roman letters.

“BI” is taken from the first two letters of “bijutsukan,” the word for “museum” in Japanese, and “TO” from “toshokan,” or “library” in Japanese, according to information on the city’s website.

U.S. designer Josh Divine, who used circled dots and lines in his “Dot” logo released in 2011, said the two works “are very similar in style, proportion, color and shape.”

Sano’s creation for the museum “may be derivative of my work,” Divine said.

“I’m speaking with a lawyer but haven’t made a final decision regarding legal action,” he said in an email inquiry from Kyodo News.

Divine said, “Seeing someone take your hard work as their own is insulting.” He said that after reading about Sano and the allegations against him lately, “the alleged plagiarism seems blatant and intentional.”

One of Sano’s logos for the Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Japan also drew concerns it plagiarizes a logo used by the National Museum of Costa Rica, prompting the zoo to request a probe. Sano’s office has denied that the logos are similar.

KfVHhEO.png


If anyone's curious, these are the zoo/museum logos referred to in the article.

Ba34LOn.png

Yy9Etes.png

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I noticed his style is also not consistent and it tends to change on each of the logos he and his company has made. I'm also starting to suspect heavily on these guys.

Really, the Tokyo organizing comittee is doing a lot of decisions which are making me think if they have an idea of what they're doing. Picking Zaha Hadid to do that horrendous stadium (only to discard it in the end) and now this. I wouldnt be surprised if they also discard the logo now

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