1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Friday, 4 September 2015

Olympic no go for Sano as logo to go in copying k.o.

Kenjiro Sano's design for the Tokyo Olympic's official logo has been dropped after a claim by the Belgian designer Olivier Debie who argued that the design was very similar to one he created for the Theatre De Liege. When we first noted this spat, we cast some doubt on the words of IOC vice-president John Coates who told a meeting of the Olympic management: "The IOC and Tokyo have checked all the copyright registers prior to this launch and that logo in Belgium isn't protected". Now the governor of Tokyo has said he felt 'betrayed' over the affair.

Mr Sano's denials of copying have been somewhat undermined by other question marks over his work: Firstly it appears that he used uncleared photographs 'borrowed' from the web for his presentations to the Olympic Committee, but perhaps more importantly, the Times reports that he has now admitted that a range of promotional bags produced for brewer Suntory contained copied images, blaming staff at his studio. A zoo is Nagoya is also reportedly checking similarities between its own Sano designed logo and the logo of a museum in Costa Rica. Tokyo organizing Committee head Toshio Muto announced at a press conference that the logo had been withdrawn by Sano. He said the Committee would "respect the decision" and develop a new design. In the meantime, the Tokyo Olympics would use a logo from a past bid. More on CNN here.

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