The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan announced May 21 it took down the cover design of its monthly Number 1 Shimbun publication after complaints of copyright infringement by Tokyo Olympics organizers.

The cover featured a design that strongly resembled the logo of the Tokyo Olympics with COVID-19 written underneath.

FCCJ President Khaldon Azhari acknowledged in an online news conference that the design touches on issues involving copyright law in Japan.

“I decided not to move toward a legal battle over copyright with the pandemic crisis raging worldwide,” Azhari said.

Lawyer Kensaku Fukui, who specializes in copyright law, called it a "very delicate case."

He said that while the design resembles the logo and possibly violates the copyright law, "the sarcastic intention is very clear, so it can clearly be a form of expression to give a different impression."

Fukui also pointed out that the design can be considered as a separate (artistic) work and thus does not infringe the copyright of the original work.

(This article was written by Chihiro Ara, Naomi Nishimura and Yasukazu Akada.)