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Artist claims original ownership of Asian Games emblem
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Huang Ziliang's design

The emblem of 16th Asian Games

The highly acclaimed emblem of the 16th Asian Games in 2010 has been called a violation of intellectual property rights (IPR). Huang Ziliang, who claims to be the original designer, filed a lawsuit against the creators of the emblem and the Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee (GAGOC) this March, accusing them of stealing his work.

The Intermediate People's Court of Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, began trying this case on December 3.

Huang said he was shocked the first time he saw the emblem because it is almost identical to a logo he designed for a cartoon image contest. Holding his original design, he said his work was inspired by the image of flames and the Chinese legend of "Five Goats." The image of the sun on the upper right corner of the Asian Games emblem is the only big difference from his work, he added.

Additionally, Huang believes the creators of the emblem were likely to have seen his logo publicized on a website last May, about one month before GAGOC launched its emblem solicitation campaign. He also revealed that he had planned to enter his design in the GAGOC contest, but was not able after he learned GAGOC would not accept designs that had been previously entered in other competitions.

After discovering the astonishing similarity between the emblem and his work, Huang asked his lawyer to write to GAGOC; after he received no substantial response, he decided to take legal action. In his papers to the court, Huang requests that he be acknowledged as the designer of the emblem, and asks the creators of the emblem to make a televised apology and give him compensation amounting to 100,000 yuan.

Huang said if he wins the case, GAGOC may use the emblem but should affirm he is the original designer of the emblem in public under appropriate circumstances. Tang Guoxiong, the lawyer representing Huang from the Guorong Law Office of Guangdong noted that he hopes to protect Huang's legal rights while at the same time preserving the reputation of GAGOC.

According to the official website of the GAGOC, the emblem was created by four people - Zhang Qiang is titled as the major creator; Zhang Yi, Wu Zhongmin, and Li Chenjia, are all named as minor collaborators. Ironically, there was even a conflict among them. Wu Zhongmin was quite upset about being called a minor collaborator. He claimed that it was he and not Zhang Qiang who originally designed the emblem and he is the actual major creator. In order to prove himself, he has publicized his design draft on the Internet. Wu's father, on behalf of his son, has submitted a letter to GAGOC claiming his son's rights.

( by Pang Li, December 3, 2007)

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