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‘Copyright agents’ face arrest warrants for krathong floats ‘sting’

‘Copyright agents’ face arrest warrants for krathong floats ‘sting’

BANGKOK: Police will seek arrest warrants for “copyright agents” who ordered krathong floats adorned with copyrighted cartoon characters from a 15-year-old girl, and then had her arrested and fined for copyright infringement.

By Bangkok Post

Tuesday 12 November 2019, 08:58AM

Orn, the 15-year-old girl was arrested on Nov 1 for making krathong floats featuring cartoon characters, makes more baskets with coloured bread for Monday's festival in Nakhon Ratchasima province. Photo: Prasit Tangprasert / Bangkok Post

Orn, the 15-year-old girl was arrested on Nov 1 for making krathong floats featuring cartoon characters, makes more baskets with coloured bread for Monday's festival in Nakhon Ratchasima province. Photo: Prasit Tangprasert / Bangkok Post

Pol Maj Gen Sujin Nitpanit, commander of Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Police, said on Monday (Nov 11) the investigation was almost complete and police would request court warrants by the end of this week.

Police were expanding the investigation after more than 40 vendors filed complaints against the same agents, alleging they also sought police action against them in a copyright “sting” to extort fines.

Police have not named the copyright agents.

The scam was exposed after a Nakhon Ratchasima teenager, identified only as “Orn”, was arrested on Nov 1 for making krathong featuring San-X cartoon characters and forced to pay a B5,000 fine for copyright infringement, sparking public anger.

Orn, who was making and selling patterned floats for Monday’s Loy Krathong Festival to help pay for her education, said she received an online order for 136 floats, with the customer demanding she use cartoon characters even though she had never used them before.

When she delivered 30 of the floats to the customer a local department store on Nov 1, she was arrested by police, who told her the order was placed by a copyright agent.

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At first, the “agent” demanded she pay a B50,000 fine, but Orn’s grandfather negotiated it down to B5,000.

TAC Consumer Plc, the representative of Japanese copyright holder San-X cartoon, denied it had assigned anyone to work with police in copyright sting operations.

Police have also affirmed that the characters on the floats did not really resemble the copyright cartoon characters, so no violation occurred.


Read original story here.

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BenPendejo | 14 November 2019 - 12:52:51

Great work...shafting this enterprising young lady, while in the meantime, every name brand under the sun is flapping in the wind, from YSL, Nike, Louie Vitton, Disney...etc.  And yeah, I'm sure the Minnie Mouse T-shirt at Big C going for 99 baht is a Disney original.  Sounds more like this young lady was cutting into some other favored family's business opportunity.

Kurt | 13 November 2019 - 08:45:07

Mhh, thinking about it, it is time the police raid shops in Patong again for confiscating copy branded goods. All shops are full with it. Branded good manufactures should send more often their observers to Phuket.

CaptainJack69 | 12 November 2019 - 12:36:44

Copyright infringement is a crime that's not taken very seriously by 'locals'. It's like riding on the wrong side of the road, they know they're not supposed to do it but they just don't care. So even if this wasn't the clear case of entrapment that it is, I'm sure it would have sparked just as much "public anger" anyway.

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