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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 18, May 4, 2008, Article 26

COPYRIGHT DISPUTE FORCES JAPAN TO REDESIGN COIN

[The following article discusses difficulties Japan ran
into when it discovered that an element of a planned coin
design was a copyrighted image.  In this case, the planned
issue is being destroyed.  What other coins have had copyright
troubles?  I know the U.S. Mint now files for explicit
copyright protection on all of its designs.  The recent
"Ocean in View" nickel reverse brought complaints from a
photographer who claimed his copyrighted image had been
used without his permission.  -Editor]

After minting 4.8 million commemorative coins, Japan said
Wednesday it must change the design due to copyright
infringement.

The original design of the coin, celebrating the centenary
of Japanese emigration to Brazil, showed bronze sculptures
of parents and a child standing in Santos, Brazil, where
the first batch of immigrants landed in 1908.

But the Brazilian sculptor of the work refused to let the
design be used for the 500-yen (five dollar) coin, the
Japanese finance ministry said.

Japan originally announced the creation of the coin in April
2007, with an aim to distribute it by the end of March 2008,
believing that an immigrants association in Brazil owned the
bronze memorial.

But the association later found that the artist also held
the right to his work.

The new design will feature the ship that took the first
Japanese immigrants to Brazil, placed over the shape of the
Latin American nation.

The ministry will spend five to 10 million yen (50,000 to
100,000 dollars) redesigning the coin.

The coin will be distributed from June 18, when Brazil will
also distribute its own commemorative coin related to Japanese
immigration.

More than 1.2 million Brazilians have Japanese ancestry, a
higher number than in any country other than Japan. The
immigrants left Japan seeking better lives at a time when
Asia's future economic giant suffered widespread poverty.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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