The U.S. government has responded to questions of copyright violation raised in the wake of the appearance of Mickey Mouse, Winnie-the-Pooh and other Disney classic characters at a concert in Pyongyang on the 6th without the permission of The Walt Disney Company.
“We have chronic and repeated instances of IPR abuse,” State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell noted in a press briefing on Tuesday. “We absolutely raise it through bilateral channels with governments. It’s something that we think is very important. We’re very proud of American innovation, we’re very proud of American products, and of course, we want them to have the appropriate free and fair treatment and access, and to get the appropriate benefit for their creations.”
However, violations that occur in countries with which the United States does not have diplomatic ties, such as North Korea, are complex to deal with, Ventrell added, saying, “We don’t have a bilateral relationship with North Korea, so it’s not the kind of situation where we would raise it in the same way that we could in other countries.”
He also took the opportunity presented by the case to once again emphasize the importance of North Korea to “come in line with [its] international obligations.”
He stated, “Broadly speaking, on the D.P.R.K., we think it needs to meet its international obligations. It’s got to become a responsible member of the international community…our focus is on the much wider issue of getting the D.P.R.K. to meet their commitments and obligations and to meet the needs of their people.”
It is unclear whether Disney plans to take legal action in response to the concert.