Date: 2007 December 01 14:40
Posted by Joe
Following on from earlier reports. The Mainichi Daily News are currently running a story about the copyright dispute around Hikonyan the cat. The iconic cat was designed as a mascot for Hikone Castle, however he was so cute he became a national hit across Japan.
The cat was made an honorary citizen of Hikone and has created an entire industry of merchandise, this partly because the Hikone Municipal Government's decision to make the licensing rights to Hikonyan free of charge. Apparently the unknown designer of the cat is fuming. The original designer did receive 1 million yen prize money for his winning design. Copyright experts don't think the creator has much chance of getting any control over Hikonyan as there were no detailed discussions in advance for what the character could be used for.