A newscasting webpage released an article as follows :
Is HMV "inspired" by Onigiri?
In HMV website, Onigiri was introduced in advertisement of O-Zone new release information.
"Dragostea din Tei" or "Koi no Mai a hi" prevailed broadly with "Noma-Neko" problem.
Now it is said that O-Zone's new single which is supposed to be released at the beginning
of November "Fiesta de la noche" or "Ai-no de la noche" is pointed out that another
AA character is featured being "inspired" in its PV.
The picture of character featured was placed on the topic of "Dance & Soul" as a new
release info. in HMV Japan official webpage .
With pharase "Now Ai no de la noche is ready to come!", an AA character known as Onigiri
(*=Riceball. Webmaster added.)which is popular especially among 2-channellers
or too closely ressembled character dancing was shown.
(*2-channellers means the users of gigantic BBS website 2(ni)-channel. Webmaster added)
This picture is deleted few days after it was noticed and informed in a 2-ch thread,
it has been placed on September 12 for a while.
AVEX, a music giant promoting "Dragostea din Tei" and "Fiesta de la noche" annouced that
it is no concern with AVEX about the characters featured in the picture shown in HMV
webpage. HMV Japan, meanwhile, has answered to an individual who asked about the picture
that "To launch a news on releasing O-Zone new single, we found this picture to retrieve
any picture suitable from computer search." Onigiri picture was deleted little while later.
According to HMV Japan, HMV Japan produces pictures to be placed in new release info. not
only receiving pictures from music label.
"As producing advertisement by ourselves, we normally are careful enough with matters of
copyright, we were too careless to upload the picture without making sure nor getting
permission from AVEX. "
HMV Japan has admitted that picture of Onigiri inspired characters was released as a part of
advertisement of O-Zone's new single without being permitted by AVEX
nor assuring the copyright.
HMV also announced, however, "We are not sure if the data of picture was retrieved via
internet or our own database.", which does not make clear where the picture itself come from.
AVEX has announced "No Comment" about new character "Noma Tako" born as a critisizm
against "Noma-Neko" problem which resembles logo of Ayumi Hamasaki, an AVEX singer.
(September 16, 2006 INTERNET Watch)