Special IP Alert: Unauthorized Mickey Mouse Spotted At Bird’s Nest

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Photo credit: my new heroes at China Daily

This article in China Daily — “Disney’s fury at Mickey scam” — about a fake Mickey and Minnie at the National Stadium doing a photo-for-cash business gave me a much-needed chuckle this afternoon:

China Daily†reporters contacted the company on Wednesday after witnessing two people in Mickey and Minnie Mouse costumes posing with visitors and then demanding 10 yuan.

“This is a very big deal. We’ll send people to Beijing immediately to see what’s going on,” said Huang Chen at Disney’s Shanghai headquarters. Staff based in its capital office said they had no knowledge of the performers.

Heh heh. I’m amused that these China Daily reporters are taking it upon themselves to inform intellectual property rights owners about possible infringement. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome. Just kind of funny. Kudos to the law and order folks at China Daily. ??! ??!

I’m even more amused by the reaction of the guy at Disney Shanghai. I can just picture this Huang Chen sitting in an office down there when he gets this call from reporters he probably doesn’t even know.

China Daily you say? Fake Mickey you say? Wow, that’s a big deal! [rolls his eyes] Thanks for telling us! I’ll send some people over immediately to take care of that. You can bet on it. [quiet snicker] Follow up? Uh, no, don’t bother, rest assured that this situation will be rectified right away.

Well, who knows? Maybe they will do something. It’s the National Stadium, after all, and maybe some foreign staff at Disney read the China Daily article and got pissed off about it.

On the other hand, as I mentioned recently in an unrelated post, Disney has to make choices when it comes to IP infringement in China, and they have a lot of anti-counterfeiting work to do on limited budgets. Some joker charging people 10 kuai a photo isn’t such a big deal, and if it wasn’t for the Bird’s Nest and the press attention, I doubt it would be much of a priority.

I don’t expect that the guy in the Mickey suit outside the toy store down the street from me has anything to worry about. Then again, maybe I should give Huang Chen a quick phone call?

FYI, this part of the China Daily article was not funny at all. Indeed, I’d call it downright alarming:

As many as eight people are working in the area, with three roaming the square between the National Stadium and the Water Cube dressed as Fu Wa, the 2008 Olympics mascots. [my panicked emphasis]

Jesus H. Christ, not Fuwa! I thought I’d seen the last of those evil fuckers a few years ago. By the way, in case you’re wondering, my flashbacks and nightmares stopped back in late 2009. It’s been a slow road back to mental health. I sincerely appreciate all those cards and well wishes you sent during that troubling time in my life.

If the Fuwa are making a comeback, I may have to check myself back into the facility. God help us all.

3 responses on “Special IP Alert: Unauthorized Mickey Mouse Spotted At Bird’s Nest

  1. Schamotnik

    10 kuai per picture? Wow, people must love Mickey Mouse…
    Does a company like Disney even have the time to chase around people who dress up as Mickey Mouse? As long as there’s no company who starts emplyong busloads of fake Mickey Mouses(Mice?), I think there on the safe side..then again this being China and all, copycats are never very far..