Yep, the North Korean leader has done the unthinkable. He’s ripped off Disney — or so the global media giant claims.
They’ve got proof, too, as shown in this SkyNews clip taken from the state television network:
Deutsche Welle reports on the reaction:
Mickey Mouse and his partner Minnie, Winnie the Pooh and his exuberant pal Tigger and other western cartoon staples danced and sang on stage at the behest of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, with footage from the show shown on state television.
The isolated Korean government apparently did not seek approval from Disney, whose intellectual property featured heavily in a display that would have been unthinkable under former leader Kim Jong Il.
“The Walt Disney company did not license or authorize the use of its characters,” Disney spokeswoman Zenia Mucha said. The live show was complemented by footage from famous Disney movies like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Dumbo” shown on a big screen at the back of the stage.
In this photo released by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and distributed in Tokyo by the Korea News Service on Monday, July 9, 2012, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center right, and others clap as they watch performance by North Korea’s new Moranbong band in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, July 6, 2012.
The US State Department was similarly displeased, with spokesman Patrick Ventrell saying on Tuesday that Pyongyang should honor intellectual property rights. Ventrell also said, however, that owing to the lack of diplomatic ties to North Korea, Washington would not be able to raise the issue as it would with many other countries.
North Korea better watch out, given Disney’s massive clout. After all, every time Mickey Mouse is about to go out of copyright, the Magic Kingdom crowd manages to get new laws and international treaties extending the reach of copyright and trademark terms.
What’s next? An air raid by Disney’s air force?