Sources close to the leadership of the Catholic League indicate that todays unexpected copyright infringment lawsuit, filed by Nippon Animations Ltd, is being taken seriously at the highest level within the organization.
“Quite frankly we’re shocked” admitted our source.
Schuster and Grubb, US based lawyers for the Japanese media giant have meanwhile issued a strongly worded statement to the media.
“Copyright infringement is a serious matter for all media companies whose business model involves the development of original products and Nippon Animations Ltd are no different. Our product image is of utmost importance to us and we will protect such intellectual properties to the full extent of the law.
The copyrighted character ‘Anpanman’ has been the most popular animated feature on Japanese TV for over three decades. He is beloved of all Japanese children and has featured in over 20 movies, hundreds of TV episodes and over 50 million copies of Anpanman books have been sold to date.
Recently it has come to our notice that Anpanman’s physical features and behaviour bears a striking resemblance to that of a character produced by the ‘Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights’, a US based media conglomerate.
Their character, ‘Bill O’Donohue’, like Anpanman, sports an outsized almost spherical head, a round button nose, unnaturally puffy cheeks and an extremely limited range of facial expressions.
If these were the only similarities then perhaps a claim of innocent coincidence might suffice yet the evidence suggests otherwise.
Anpanman is frequently involved in battles with fictional cartoon foes that seek to end his way of life.
Just like ‘Bill O’Donohue’.
Anpanman’s best friend, ‘Shokupanman’, has a head made from a loaf of Bread.
‘Bill O’Donohue’ is close friends with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly.
Anpanman, facing a threat, has only two ways to deal with the situation – the An-punch and the An-kick.
‘Bill O’Donohue’, similarly, is never in danger of resorting to calm rational approaches to settling an argument.
Perhaps most strikingly we note that Anpanmans habit of offering pieces of his head, which is made from bread, to hungry friends is remarkably similar to Bill’s recently publicised cause celebre.
During that incident ‘Bill O’Donohue’ sought to protect 'the dignity' of pieces of bread destined for hungry Catholics in church – ‘termed the eurcharist’ – claiming these were, in fact, sourced from the physical body of one of Bills friends, a Mr Jesus Christ (a character not dissimilar to Anpanman’s maker ‘Jam Ojisan’).
Despite repeated warnings from us to cease and desist such blatant copyright infringement we note, sadly, that the Catholic League has continued to use their Anpanman clone at every available opportunity.
It is with extreme reluctance that we finally resort to legal means to enforce our legal claims to this character.”
An official response from the Catholic League is expected in turn.
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