I will have to add this to the the north Korea counterfeiting list with US $100 bills, cigarettes, Viagra, etc. I wonder what Eric Schmidt thinks will happen when they provide the north with Google software?
North Korea Accused of 'Unauthorized' Production of Sesame Street Toys
January 09, 2013
The U.S. non-profit group that produces the children's television show Sesame Street says a major North Korean toy maker is producing unlicensed replicas of popular characters from the internationally syndicated educational program.
North Korea's Kyonghung Trading Corporation has been advertising the toys for sale to the international market, using an advertisement published in a North Korean government "Foreign Trade" magazine. Three of the stuffed animals pictured in the ad resemble Sesame Street's Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Elmo.
In a statement emailed to VOA Wednesday, Sesame Workshop said "we believe the toys pictured are unauthorized." The multi-media company sells its own plush toys featuring the characters and uses licensees such as New Jersey-based toy maker GUND to produce them in China, Bangladesh and elsewhere.
Dozens of toys
Kyonghung says its Pyongyang toy factory was established in 2005 and has an annual output of hundreds of thousands of items, including more than 60 types of toy. It says it employs a "large number of toy experts and skilled workers with elaborate craftsmanship."
Sesame said it has not faced a major copyright infringement case outside the United States in the last few years. The non-profit group said it takes "appropriate legal actions" in response to infringements when it believes they can be "effective."
Sesame may find it difficult to sue Kyonghung because the United States and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations and have remained in a technical state of war since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
In a separate statement to VOA, GUND spokeswoman Doris Bernar said the Kyonghung products "appear to be confusingly similar to copyrighted products of Sesame or GUND, but it is unclear from the advertisement." She said GUND has "successfully protected (its) rights internationally on numerous occasions."
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