A Case of David and Goliath: Disney Targets Adelaide’s ‘Frying Nemo’ for Copyrights

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By Athena Yenko | December 6, 2013 1:52 PM EST

Multinational Corporation Disney penned a letter to a small fish and chip shop in Adelaide named "Frying Nemo" as it violates Disney's copyright laws.

Frying Nemo's store banner was designed very much alike the posters for the Disney movie "Finding Nemo", despite owner Grace Crawford spending a hefty $5000 for the store's graphic design. It was actually her husband and kids, Kristian and Denika, ages 9 and 18, who came up with the name. The family loved it and thought it an effective bait for their future customers.

Mrs Crawford told The Advertiser that she and her husband were shocked when they received the letter from Disney. They wondered why in the world a company as big as Disney will waste time on a humble business like theirs.

"Maybe they think we are an easy target. I was just shocked when we got the letter. We could not believe it - it seemed like a joke," said Mrs Crawford.

Now, their son was upset and kept asking them why they have to change the name of the store which he creatively thought out.

"He keeps asking why it would have to change because he does not understand. We have a lot of support from our customers too - one man has decided to start a petition to allow us to keep it.  We just want proof from our lawyers that we have to change it before we are made to," as explained by Mrs Crawford.

Cullen Habel of the University of Adelaide thinks that the tight shots of Nemo's face, the colour orange and the whole imagery portrayed through the store's banner clearly violated Disney's copyright. However, the humble shop was gainng sympathy among its supporters, for the issue resembled "David and Golliath".

"But it is still a David and Goliath battle because in the end how much could a small shop in Adelaide's west possibly hurt such a huge company like Disney. Big companies, however, often focus on the thin edge of the wedge. One day it's a small take-away shop the next day it is a department store and all of a sudden it is everywhere. It saddens me to say but the best course of action would probably be to move away from the Nemo setting altogether." Mr Habel told The Advertiser.

Disney gave "Frying Nemo" up until Friday to change its name or it will be shutdown.

Disney, on the other hand, had not released an official letter yet to air out their side.

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