Popular comedian and YouTuber Nigel Ng Kin-ju, better known as Uncle Roger, recently found himself in hot water due to a copyright issue involving the beloved One Piece anime. This surprising turn of events unfolded when Uncle Roger featured a One Piece cooking scene in one of his videos and proceeded to offer his entertaining commentary. To the shock of many, Toei Animation swiftly issued a copyright claim against Uncle Roger for what they considered an infringement on the One Piece anime.
It’s worth noting that Toei Animation has, on occasion, taken action against YouTube content creators who use One Piece material without permission. In late 2021, they unleashed over 150 copyright claims against Mark Fitzpatrick, the creator behind the Totally Not Mark review channel. However, this time, it’s Uncle Roger, the renowned YouTuber known for his humorous Asian food recipe reviews delivered in a Cantonese accent and the persona of a middle-aged Asian man.
The controversy began when Uncle Roger uploaded a video to his official YouTube channel on August 27, 2023. Instead of his usual culinary escapades, he chose to review a dish from the One Piece anime. Specifically, he focused on a cooking scene from One Piece episode 133, titled “Inherited Recipe: Sanji the Curry Iron Chef.” This early episode sees the Straw Hat Pirates encountering Marine Ships in dense fog and crossing paths with Tajio, a trainee Marine chef.
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In the episode’s storyline, Tajio accidentally spills a pot of soup while on duty. When he apologizes to the chef, he’s told to make a new batch if he’s truly sorry. Struggling to recreate the dish, Tajio gets a helping hand from none other than Sanji, who bails him out and guides him to successfully prepare the curry.
Uncle Roger’s video review of this cooking scene was engaging and humorous, with the comedian offering his unique perspective and making witty comments. He praised the authenticity and detail of the anime’s presentation while cracking jokes along the way. At the end of the review, he complimented the One Piece creators for their culinary knowledge and skills.
Despite Uncle Roger’s best efforts to entertain and provide commentary on the anime scene, Toei Animation decided to issue a copyright strike against him for using One Piece anime footage in his video. This unfortunate turn of events means that Uncle Roger will have to remove the video from his channel to avoid facing a permanent strike against his content.
In a bid to address the situation, Uncle Roger promptly commented on his video, asserting that his usage of the material falls under the fair use doctrine. However, it’s important to note that Japan doesn’t have a general fair use provision in its copyright law, which complicates matters for content creators. Consequently, the video is set to be taken down, not just in Japan but globally.
This incident highlights the challenges content creators face when dealing with anime material. Japan’s stringent copyright laws mean that creators must tread carefully and make meticulous decisions about what content to include in their videos. The situation surrounding Uncle Roger serves as a reminder of the complexities and nuances within the world of content creation, particularly when dealing with international copyright laws.