I’m sure all of us by now have heard of the ridiculous lawsuit aimed at Frozen. Now we bring news of equally ridiculous claims against a Disney film that’s not even out yet!
Cartoon Brew recently reported this week that Fijan boatmakers are the first to point the finger at Disney’s upcoming film Moana, claiming that Disney somehow stole used the design of a traditional Fijian boat called the camacow (pronounced tha-ma-cow) without their permission.
Here’s what Colin Philip, a Mua Voyage coordinator and the person that brought this issue to light, had to say regarding the subject and his personal stance on the matter when approached by the Fiji Times:
“There are two ways of looking at the traditional canoe being featured in the Disney production. One would be people being happy that the traditional canoes are being featured. But the other way of looking at this is on the intellectual property rights side, that the canoe design or the collaboration of the design is quite valuable.”
“It’s something that I think they have gone ahead with without any approval from the ITaukei Affairs and the intellectual property owners, being the elders or the canoe builders of Fiji. While it is great that Pacific island voyaging culture is being featured, I do hope the owners (canoe builders) will receive appropriate compensation for use of their canoe design since the movie will make billions of dollars and the people from Korova are not being exploited.”
It wasn’t exactly specified why contemporary Fijan boatmakers deserve compensation for a centuries-old design to which nobody alive today has any authorship/ownership rights to. It’s a flimsy argument for reasons that Amid Amidi best sums up in this sentence:
“From a legal perspective, there’s currently no evidence to suggest that Disney doesn’t have the same rights as the Fijian boatmakers to use a traditional camakau design in their work.”
But that’s not all. In an even more unbelievable claim of infringement, an anonymous reader of Cartoon Brew sent in a compare/contrast image that lays forth a ludicrous allegation that Disney used an image from this website for the background of the concept art:
This isn’t the first time that Disney had caught heat for their films. Asides from the whole Frozen fiasco, they also got in trouble for trying to license the name of the Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead holiday, drawing a swift response from the Mexican community. But in contrast to the claims made against Moana, these claims were founded and confirmed true.
Putting aside how unbelievably farcical these claims are, what makes them even more insane is that these accusations are being thrown around when the movie hasn’t been released yet! We’ve just received the concept art a month ago!
As of current, Disney has yet to respond to the allegation concerning the design of the boat, and I doubt they will take an anonymous reader’s allegation seriously in any capacity.
We are two years away from Moana‘s release (it’s expected in November 2016). That’s far too early to make accusations about anything. But then, it doesn’t really matter since none of them (at this moment) will actually mean anything.
What do you think? Are these accusations believable or completely false?
Gif courtesy of: Cartoon Brew