Toei Animation, the Japanese animation powerhouse behind some of our (and hopefully your) favourite animations, has started to investigate and send out cease and desist notices to Chinese companies for copyright infringement.
Reported by Chinese gaming website Gamelook, Toei has reached out to a few Chinese gaming companies asking them to take down games that use Toei's iconic anime franchises, such as One Piece and Saint Seiya, without permission.
So how is Toei, a Japanese company, able to get anything legally done in China? According to the report, Toei went through their partners at DeNA and Perfect World. Lawyers from DeNA and Perfect World carried out the investigation in China as well as delivered notices to offending parties.
Perfect World operates the Sega developed Saint Seiya massive online role-playing game, whereas DeNA is a Japanese company with a Chinese subsidiary.
Companies such as Baidu were told to stop listing titles that infringed on Toei's copyrights.
Many of the games that were targeted were games related to the Saint Seiya and the One Piece properties as both have a huge following in China. Popular browser and mobile games such as Dream One Piece were taken down as a result of Toei's requests.
It's unknown how many more games and companies will be approached as Toei looks to fight piracy in China. However, with it's early success, it seems might be the first of many more companies to enter China in hopes of protecting their intellectual properties. They'll need it as some of those companies are pirate kings.
斗士海贼王维权:东映、完美、DeNA联手 [Gamelook via People's Daily]