This week saw the launch of a new satirical weekly called ‘The Sub-Standard‘ on Hong Wrong. It was not long before a local newspaper, coincidentally entitled ‘The Standard‘ dropped said blog a line…
They also planted a fake comment on the blog, supposedly from a random reader claiming to feel ‘confused’ by the logo but actually originating from the Sing Tao Group’s office. Nice try.
Anyway, below are ten potential redesigns forwarded to The Standard for their consideration. Feel free to vote on your favourite, leave your comments or have a shot yourself with this high-resolution version (the typeface is ‘impact’). firstname.lastname@example.org are keen to hear from you!
Hong Wrong is quite fond of #1 and #3 as they’re quite in-keeping with Mary Ma’s dreadful politics. But then, #2 reminds us of that time the ICAC arrested staff at The Standard in 1994 for circulation fraud – good times! #6 is pretty relevant – the recycling grannies love The Standard.
Copyright and Parody in Hong Kong.
Whilst this case is merely a mildly entertaining trademark issue, there is a serious point to be made about satire and parody in HK. Last year, artists and activists united to oppose the ‘Article 23’ of the internet. Under a new bill, satirical works could have been classed as a criminal act – and this includes harmless internet parodies and mash-ups.
HK’s copyright laws have been in effect since handover but the latest amendment put regular citizens at risk should they criticise institutions, the government or corporations. Re-writing Cantopop songs and photoshopping images have become important tools for HK’s netizens to express themselves – particularly when they are denied an opinion at the ballot box. Even the US government noted the situation and agreed it was an attack on freedom of speech.
This amusing LEGCO paper (PDF) takes into account the international record industry’s take on the matter, while this government paper (PDF) examines parody exemptions across the world and concludes that the matter is best left on the back burner.
Here is a short news documentary (subtitled) from TVB, who – unusually – sided with the public…