'Copyright agents' face arrest warrants for krathong floats 'sting'

'Copyright agents' face arrest warrants for krathong floats 'sting'

Orn, the 15-year-old girl was arrested on Nov 1 for making krathong floats featuring cartoon characters, makes more baskets with coloured bread for Monday's festival in Nakhon Ratchasima province. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)
Orn, the 15-year-old girl was arrested on Nov 1 for making krathong floats featuring cartoon characters, makes more baskets with coloured bread for Monday's festival in Nakhon Ratchasima province. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

Police will seek arrest warrants for "copyright agents" who ordered krathong floats adorned with copyrighted cartoon characters from a 15-year-old girl, and then had her arrested and fined for copyright infringement.

Pol Maj Gen Sujin Nitpanit, commander of Nakhon Ratchasima Provincial Police, said on Monday the investigation was almost complete and police would request court warrants by the end of this week.

Police were expanding the investigation after more than 40 vendors filed complaints against the same agents, alleging they also sought police action against them in a copyright "sting" to extort fines.

Police have not named the copyright agents.

The scam was exposed after a Nakhon Ratchasima teenager, identified only as “Orn”,  was arrested on Nov 1 for making krathong featuring San-X cartoon characters and forced to pay a 5,000-baht fine for copyright infringement, sparking public anger.

Orn, who was making and selling patterned floats for Monday's Loy Krathong Festival to help pay for her education, said she received an online order for 136 floats, with the customer demanding she use cartoon characters even though she had never used them before.

When she delivered 30 of the floats to the customer a local department store on Nov 1, she was arrested by police, who told her the order was placed by a copyright agent.

At first, the “agent” demanded she pay a 50,000 baht fine, but Orn’s grandfather negotiated it down to 5,000 baht.

TAC Consumer Plc, the representative of Japanese copyright holder San-X cartoon, denied it had assigned anyone to work with police in copyright sting operations.

Police have also affirmed that the characters on the floats did not really resemble the copyright cartoon characters, so no violation occurred. 


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (22)

Plants urged to cut output

The Industry Ministry has asked 68,757 factories to reduce their production capacity temporarily in order to tackle smog.

07:01

Energy Ministry aims to adopt food traceability tech by June

The Energy Ministry is preparing to adopt food traceability technology by June to prove that crude palm oil is locally produced and prevent smuggling from neighbouring countries, aiming to deal with the huge annual surplus.

07:01

Suvarnabhumi getting first crack at commercial 5G

Suvarnabhumi airport is on track to experience the first commercial 5G in Thailand by May, according to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

06:31