Games chiefs appeased as spoof logo scrubbed

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 22 May 2020

A satirical mock-up depicting the Tokyo Olympics logo as the new coronavirus has been pulled after Olympic organizers called it "insensitive" and said it infringed copyright.

The design combines the distinctive spiky image of the coronavirus cell with the blue-and-white Tokyo 2020 logo, and appeared as the cover illustration of the magazine produced by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.

The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until next year because of the coronavirus.

FCCJ president Khaldon Azhari said the club decided to withdraw the image and remove it from its website after receiving advice that its legal defense against a potential copyright breach action was "not strong."

Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto hailed the move, saying: "We believe the response was appropriate."

Earlier, Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya blasted the illustration as "very disappointing" as he revealed Olympic bosses had requested that the FCCJ kill the image although the circulation of the magazine is tiny.

This was not the first time Tokyo 2020 has been in a dispute over its logo.

Organizers had to scrap the original emblem after a claim of plagiarism by a Belgian designer, who said the Japanese effort was "virtually identical" to his logo for a theater in Liege.

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