Ever since the hit Disney film Frozen made its premiere in 2013, Elsa, Anna and other characters from the franchise have found their way onto many retail products. Pencil cases, school bags, lunch boxes, accessories and apparel; it can be seen everywhere.
That being said, many products on the market are mere knockoffs. According to Shine, in Shanghai, three people were recently sentenced for 'ripping off' products featuring these well-known characters.
Since December 2015, the three offenders, named Chen, Sun and Xu, have been manufacturing and selling Frozen-themed suitcases without authorization from Walt Disney Corporation. Over the past three years, they have sold close to 3,000 cases via online platforms including Taobao and Tmall.
Image via Kankanews
Shanghai police caught the trio in June 2017 where 76 counterfeit cases were found in Chen's residence. After being arrested, all three copycats confessed to their crimes and advised they regretted their behavior.
It turns out that the idea of selling cheap copies of Frozen merchandise first came to Chen's mind. Without seeking the necessary authorization, he contacted and commissioned Sun to help produce the suitcases. Subsequently, Sun reassigned the task to Xu, owner of a local luggage manufacturer.
On August 22, the Shanghai No. 3 Intermediate People's Court sentenced the three lawbreakers to serve between 18 months and three years' imprisonment. In addition, fines between RMB5,000 and RMB80,000 were handed out.
[Cover image via IMDb]