Kim Jong Un's Mysterious Female Companion Hides The Real Issue: Piracy Of Disney Characters!

from the really? dept

There's an almost entirely silly article over at CNN speculating -- with absolutely no knowledge -- about the identity of a woman seen frequently with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. I'm not quite sure how that makes a news story, but what caught Dark Helmet's eye was that in this bizarre little story, there was a bit from Disney, in which it felt compelled to mention that a performance seen by Kim and the woman that included Disney characters was not authorized:
The mystery woman accompanied the young leader to a Pyongyang theater on Friday night to watch a performance of North Korea's Moranbong band. The display included a cast of Disney characters, attracting the attention of The Walt Disney Company which issued a statement Tuesday saying it had not authorized their use.
As if (1) anyone cared about that or (2) anyone actually thought that Disney had licensed its characters to the North Korean government for a special performance.

This is what happens when, as a company, you seem to have infringement-on-the-brain, and think anything and everything must absolutely be framed within the context of whether or not something is infringing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:18am

    And now you know...

    The rest of the story.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:19am

    pirate mike supporting copyright infringement by communist states. When will this madness end, something must be done.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:24am

      Re:

      sarcasm?

      Also, they're dictators. They have the say whether any use of a charater is infingement under the law.

       

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      Arhac, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:25am

      Re:

      Not sure if ironic or from the The Walt Disney Company.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:18am

      Re:

      Disney vs North Korea!
      Two dictatorships battle for control of the Mouse!
      Who will win?

      Quite frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing Disney send a few planeloads of lawyers over there...

       

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        arcan, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:42am

        Re: Re:

        GREAT SCOTT, YOU MIGHT BE ON TO SOMETHING THERE. if we can get all the copyright and patent lawyers over to north korea and get them detained. such as hide a matyr in the group, we can solve a lot of problems. without all the lawyers there will be no where near as much of a legal mindset, and all the trolls will not be able to sue because there are no lawyers to run the "companies"

         

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    •  
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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 8:00am

      Re:

      Failtroll.

      Absolutely unforgivable that you missed linking copyright infringement and communism in a story about both. Also, since North Korea wants nuclear weapons, and we all know that terrorists want nuclear weapons, there was that angle too. And even though both of your "sentences" were fragments, you capitalized one of them, and they were coherent.

      Complete failing grade.

       

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    droozilla (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:24am

    Ummm....

    Didn't Disney STEAL the intellectual property of the Grimm Brothers with damn near EVERY ANIMATED MOVIE THEY'VE MADE?

    They should probably stfu.

     

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    •  
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      Torg (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:44am

      Re: Ummm....

      Because all those stories originated with the Grimm brothers. It's not like they just made an anthology of folk tales or anything.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 9:09am

        Re: Re: Ummm....

        More specifically, it isn't like the Grimm Brothers collected folk tales for their anthology A FEW HUNDRED YEARS prior to the first use by Disney.

        Even if they were copyrighted by the Grimm Brothers, it would have definitely been public domain.

         

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          Killercool (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 1:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: Ummm....

          That's only because the Brothers Grimm weren't able to present their case to the Powers that Be that they deserved an extension.
          Just because Disney has better lawyers, doesn't mean it's Disney's fault that the Brothers Grimm allowed their copyrights to expire at the appointed time.

          If they were any kind of businessmen, they would have been able to give their descendents a livelihood for generations.

           

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    Dave, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:25am

    Missing the point

    You are missing the point. The problem is that there is not nearly enough celebrity gossip in the west, we need to know more!

     

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    martyburns (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:29am

    Would have been funnier

    It would have been funnier if Kim Jong Un's female companion was actually Minnie Mouse.

     

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    Richard (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    Duhhh

    The Walt Disney Company which issued a statement Tuesday saying it had not authorized their use.

    Their use was undoubtedly authorised by Kim Jong Un or someone in his government - and in North Korea that is all that matters.

    Has Disney not noticed that North Korea is a sovereign state that has not signed up for any international intellectual property obligations and that Disney therefore has no "rights" there to be infringed!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    anyone like to speculate as to the action Disney is going to take against N.Korea? anyone like to speculate as to whether N.Korea is going to give a flying fuck what Disney (or anyone else from the West come to that) thinks or says?

     

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      Richard (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:50am

      Re:

      anyone like to speculate as to the action Disney is going to take against N.Korea?

      I'd prefer to speculate about the actions that N. Korea might take against Disney...

       

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      Niall (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:58am

      Re:

      Just trying to set up for the US to 'invade' NK to 'liberate' stolen imaginary 'property'. Because goodness knows that's more important than if they've got nukes, or might send a couple of million soldiers over the DMZ...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:42am

    Obviously what we need to do now is hand the North Koreans several thousand advanced computers so they will be capable of licensing this content from Disney for future performances.

     

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    Constantinos, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:43am

    Overreacting on this news

    Mike, I'm a huge fan of this site, and been a faithful reader since 2005, but I think this is an overreaction on your (our?) part.

    All I can see from the article, is a company trying hard to distance itself from negative publicity. Authorizing a copyrighted work (whether that's required or not) isn't just about the copyright itself, it also gives implicit approval of the derivative work.

    I don't believe Disney was after a copyright claim here, and (as much as I despise the company itself), have to say that this statement is the minimum I'd expect from them, as well as the maximum - Implicit approval of the North Korean regime is not something any corporation would want on its resume.

     

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      Niall (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:00am

      Re: Overreacting on this news

      I think he's just pointing out Disney's over-obsession with IP, even to the point of wrecking a perfectly normal gossip article. And that over-obsession affects a lot of things in the US and elsewhere - after all, Mickey Mouse age MUST be less than length of copyright...

       

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        Constantinos, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:03am

        Re: Re: Overreacting on this news

        Absolutely agree about Disney's over-obsession with IP, but I don't think this is it. I believe it's less to do with IP and more to do with bad press.

         

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      PaulT (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:19am

      Re: Overreacting on this news

      "All I can see from the article, is a company trying hard to distance itself from negative publicity."

      That's actually the point. It should be blindingly obvious that NK doesn't licence anything officially, let alone anything from major Western corporations. That Disney not only feel they have to announce this, but do so on the basis of a random gossip article about something else (i.e. nobody has accused them of having licensed the works) indicates how farcical this whole thing has become.

      "Implicit approval of the North Korean regime is not something any corporation would want on its resume."

      I dare say Disney have worse on it already.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:20am

      Re: Overreacting on this news

      "Authorizing a copyrighted work (whether that's required or not) isn't just about the copyright itself, it also gives implicit approval of the derivative work."

      Let's see Disney sue North Korea!
      Otherwise, it shows the Mouse is impotent!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:25am

      Re: Overreacting on this news

      This was my immediate thought as well. Disney isn't threatening to sue them or trying to recover damages or anything, they're just saying "hey guys, we didn't authorize this so don't get mad".

      It makes everybody mad though because you used the word piracy!

       

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
       
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:41am

      Re: Overreacting on this news

      "Overreacting on the news" is unfortunately one of the only things Pirate Mike knows how to do. I mean, how fucking stupid is this post? Whining about Disney, a company doing no more than distancing itself from a negative news story that involved the company. As a shareholder of their stock, I welcome the statement. Stories like this show just how desperate Pirate Mike is to say something--anything--negative about IP. Sorry, Mike, but you come across as just a whiny bitch--again. Congrats on being the internet's biggest douchebag!

       

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        arcan, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:50am

        Re: Re: Overreacting on this news

        lol irony you called mike a douchebag. i think his point is no one gives a damn that disney characters were used. it was entirely unnecessary for them to release a statement. and this is not even negative news. because guess what it is gossip. it has no real bearing on life. so get your head out of your anus and think things threw for once.

         

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        PaulT (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 7:00am

        Re: Re: Overreacting on this news

        "As a shareholder of their stock,"

        Awesome! I knew I needed a reason not to buy from them! Watching idiots like you fail is reason enough. Time to ensure my money goes elsewhere, I wouldn't want the likes of you getting richer when there's so many more deserving recipients.

        "Congrats on being the internet's biggest douchebag!"

        No, I think your trophy's safe.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 7:59am

        Re: Re: Overreacting on this news

        So Mike's a whiny bitch for whining about a whiny bitch?

        So you whining over a bitching whining over a whiny bitch... that makes you three times the whiny bitch!

         

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    •  
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      velox (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 7:11am

      Re: Overreacting on this news

      "All I can see from the article, is a company trying hard to distance itself from negative publicity. Authorizing a copyrighted work (whether that's required or not) isn't just about the copyright itself, it also gives implicit approval of the derivative work."
      Absent the declaration by Disney, how many Americans would have jumped to the conclusion that Disney must have approved and collected a licensing fee for the play in a North Korean theater.
      My guess -- Zero.

       

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        Almost Anonymous (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 7:55am

        Re: Re: Overreacting on this news

        No man, until I read that line I was totally under the impression that Best Korea had licensed all relevant materials and that the show was fully endorsed post-humously by Walt Disney himself.

         

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 10:43am

      Re: Overreacting on this news

      Of course Disney wants to dissociate itself from Kim Jong Un, but I think the point is that the way they've chosen to do so is very telling of their mindset.

      They didn't say "we disapprove of and do not support his regime," would would have spoken to an ethical objection, they say "we did not authorize the use of our works," which is a legal objection that says nothing about how Disney feels about the regime.

      What it literally indicates is that Disney's primary concern is the control over their "intellectual property", not that they don't want to be seen with the like of the Un.

       

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      Nash, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

      Re: Overreacting on this news

      I also think that if Disney HAD authorised this they would be in violation of US law, since their are economic sanctions against North Korea.

      It is also newsworthy as the performance would be against North Korean law as well (and get the average citizen sent to a labour camp for a decade or more).

      This has NOTHING to do with copyright.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:46am

    OMG, Disney is selling content to North Korea, I must boycott them for life!

    OMG, North Korea's government is infringing on Disney's IP, they must be terrible people, we should invade them for the crime! I would have never guessed this if Disney hadn't pointed out the crime!

     

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    identicon
    John Doe, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 5:46am

    Can war be averted?

    I sure hope Disney doesn't get us into a war with North Korea. I am hopeful diplomatic talks can calm the furor here and cooler head will prevail.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:02am

    Simple solution

    The entire legal dept of Disney should fly to North Korea and lodge a formal protest in person.

    I'm pretty sure Kim Jong Un will have a reasonable response prepared for them.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:28am

      Re: Simple solution

      Disney lawyers enter Kim Jung Un's reception chamber...
      "Let us look around, so we can ease Disney's collective mind.
      We'm sorry, but Disney must be firm with you.
      Let us in, or else."

      "Or else...what?"

      "Or else we will be very angry with you...and we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are."

      "OK, I'll show you.
      Stand to your reft."

      Lawyers move to their reft, I mean left.

      "A rittle more."

      Lawyers move a little more.

      "Good"

      Kim Jong Un pulls switch, lawyers become shark food.

      Everyone wins.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    This is why I rarely read CNN anymore.

    About reading I just took a look at DSLreports and found this news:

    Aereo win first round: injunction denied [paidcontent.org]
    Study: slow and unreliable broadband affecting Londonís economy [techworld.com] (And people say the interwebz is not valuable)
    Government Officials Warn of Wireless Patent Wars [cio.com] (Warning is different from doing something about it)
    Android rules U.S. and Europe smartphone sales [cnet.com]
    How Amazonís ambitious new push for same-day delivery will destroy local retail [slate.com]
    UK Web snooping bill an 'odious shopping list of new gov powers' [theregister.co.uk]
    Viacom Yanks Free TV Shows From Web Amid DirecTV Impasse [multichannel.com] (Oh this will be good)
    Lawmakers Accuse FCC of Hypocrisy on Internet Regulation [cio.com]
    The piracy pitfalls of offering public Wi-Fi [itpro.co.uk]
    Whoís afraid of Google fiber? Time Warner for starters [gigaom.com] (See what happens when you poke a bear?)
    Netflix's lost year: The inside story of the price-hike train wreck [cnet.com] (The industry apparently will get what they want, the end of Netflix and with it the end of profits LoL)

    On TorrentFreak:
    Censoring The Pirate Bay is Futile, ISPs Reveal

    So long for the wet dreams of the MAFIAA.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:04am

    This demonstrates why

    This is a perfect example of why North Korea desperately needs large numbers of top of the line supercomputers in order to help not just its patent searches, but all kinds of intellectual property searches.

    They also need a very fat pipe to the internet so that their computers can gobble down torrents of western content for comparative study.

    Disney wants us to cheer WIPO recently giving North Korea computers in violation of sanctions.

     

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    Pixelation, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:17am

    This just proves that the North Korean government is a Mickey Mouse operation.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:18am

    Isn't North Korea a signatory state of ACTA and TPP? My bad.

     

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    sniperdoc (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    We Todd Did...

    I believe that the Walt Disney company wanted to make that statement less about copyright infringement, more so about the fact that:

    1. So it doesn't get inundated by requests for the REAL Disney company to put on the same show that was put on in Korea.
    2. So Disney is not recognized as supporting a Dictatorship that has its populace rotting in poverty and hunger.

    Poor choice of words by Disney... yes.

     

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    identicon
    Michael, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:26am

    It would be funny if it had been an "unauthorized performance" by school kids here in the US. I imagine as soon as Disney heard about it, there'd be a SWAT team swarming the school premises, busting through windows, et al.

     

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    identicon
    anon, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 6:27am

    Calm down people

    Disney is irrelevant anywhere else in the world as there content is never on tv, it is just too expensive to license. Most kids do not know what Disney is , unless they live in America where Disney seems to be glorified for some reason.

     

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    Nick Dynice (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 7:11am

    Authorization? North Korea don't need not stinking authorization! Plus, I doubt that even if they wanted to licence the characters there are no channels for them to do so.

     

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    Philip (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 8:40am

    Typical statement.

    I'm sure this is a response from Disney being ask by a third party if this was authorized or if Disney is connected with the performance (in efforts to get info. about said woman).

    I'm a little disappointed. You make it sound like Disney is threatening Kim John Un for the illegal use of Disney characters. Now, if I'm wrong, and this is a real legal threat; then yes, Disney is jumping the "MUCH PROTECT IP" gun before realizing China doesn't care about US IP.

     

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 8:52am

    They buried the lead.

    The REAL story here is that the leader of a nuclear state, a grown man, takes his date to a fucking Disney musical.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 9:36am

    It's time nuke North Korea!

    A country can destroy any business they don't like - the United States proved that!

    A country can meddle in the affairs of any country they don't like - the United States proved that!

    A country can topple any government they don't like - the United States proved that!

    A country can freely murder whomever they bloody well feel like - the United States proved that!

    A country can drop nuclear bombs on whomever they feel like and kill thousands and thousands of innocent people - the United States proved that!

    A country can declare war on and destroy any country just minding their own business (especially if they threatened the us president's daddy) and get away with it - the United States proved that!

    A country can commit any war crimes it wants and get away with it - the United States proved that!

    A country can ignore international law when they bloody well feel like it - the United States proved that!

    But flaunt american national so-called "laws" designed to make filthy rich people filthy richer and bought and paid for by those that help finance the american presidential campaign in a us election year? Cleanly, North Korea is evil and must be destroyed!!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 10:41am

      Re: It's time nuke North Korea!

      If korean boy wanna mess with me Imma nuke his ass and say "ninja prease!"

      /some haiti video slideshow thing

       

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    McFortner (profile), Jul 12th, 2012 @ 10:37am

    The Revolution Will Be Televised

    Comrade Mouse and Comrade Goofy approve.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 12th, 2012 @ 7:53pm

    I doubt Kim Jong Un gives two shits about copyright.
    Far as the people of North Korea know Kim Jong Un created Disney.

    Don't you know?.. Dear leader is creator of everything rofl.

     

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    gilroy0 (profile), Jul 13th, 2012 @ 5:53am

    Oh, NOW they've done it

    They've honked off Disney? Now regime change is inevitable.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Lee French, Jan 19th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    The American dream upheld by the Disney characters must
    be corrupted by the values of Communism. Haha.

     

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