China's shonky Disneyland-a-like park closed


A Disneyland look-a-like theme park outside of Beijing called Shijingshan has been shut down by Chinese authorities, apparently as a consequence of the deal to open a Disneyland Shanghai park. Shijingshan sported some intensely crappy rides and attractions that seemed to have been designed by making wild guesses about the equivalent rides in the actual Disney parks (amusingly, the "American Adventure" ride was a haunted house).

Shijingshan management claim that they aren't copying Disney, merely taking their inspiration from the same sources. It's an interesting example of the difference between copyright and trademark; from the particulars I can see online, I don't think there's much merit to a copyright claim here -- though there are a few examples where there are clear derivative works, most of the design is merely generically derived from public domain sources such as castles and fairy tale characters. On the other had, there's a very strong trademark case here, since the use of distinctive ride-names and such seem deliberately chosen to confuse customers about the nature and origin of the park's designs.

Deputy general manager, Yin Zhiqiang, said: "The characters in our park just look a little bit similar to theirs. But the faces, clothes, sizes and appearances are different."

"We do not have any agreements with Disney."

Despite the striking similarities to foreign characters, Yin insisted the Beijing park's are all locally designed.

"Take our Cinderella as an example. The face of Disney's Cinderella face is European, but ours is a Chinese. She looks like a young Chinese country girl," he said.

Fake Disney Theme Park in China forced to Close (The Disney Blog)

'Fake' Disney park faces closure (Metro.co.uk)

(Image: DSCF6882, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from maxview's photostream)