Holy plagiarism, Batman! What was supposed to be Sony’s second Music Video Winter Mix — created with the goal of showing off their impressive library of titles — has turned sour. Apparently, the director of the video has been accused of ripping off several animations from other artists and even students.
The video was first uploaded by PlayStation Japan on November 29 but has since been made private following the accusations. As Eurogamer reports, it was first a Russian animator by the name of Oleg Kositsyn who replied to PlayStation Japan’s tweet with his own work to point to the identical animation. The floodgates opened following this, and others came forward to do the same, resulting in most of the video being claimed as ripped by several sources.
One of the major complainants to follow was Catsuka, a French animation website, who provided a side-by-side comparison that shows just how bad the situation is. In no time at all, it seems clear that the video is little more than a compilation of animation lifted almost directly from other projects, including the show Steven Universe and FLCL.
As for student work, short animations from Gobelins — a school in France — appear to have been ripped for the PlayStation video as well.
The problem is sure to escalate from here for Kevin Bao, the Canadian director in charge of the video for Sony. Bao has received several awards from the Ottawa International Animation Festival and London International Animation Festival, but following these revelations, several other individuals have spoken up and pointed to the same problem of ripping animations for videos reaching back as far as two years ago.
Things are not looking good for Bao, and since the news has spread on Twitter, his Instagram has gone private and the portfolio of work for his agency has been completely removed. There seems little that can be said in defense of these actions, and this is not the last we have heard of the case.
Sony meanwhile is likely to remain completely innocent in the scandal. Their due diligence should be considered enough in hiring a well-known individual in the animation industry with years of experience and awards for his work, though we should still expect an apology to the artists who were affected, and the list is long. While this is not the first time we have heard of plagiarism in the gaming industry, it is quite brazen in the scope of ripped animations, and given how many people would be seeing this video, it is quite surprising that it occurred at all.
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