Missing Aboriginal flag in Doodle 4 Google causes stir in Australia

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Sydney, Jan 26(ANI): An Australia Day artwork by student Jessie Du will be viewed by millions on Google's home page, but one feature of her original design has been edited out- the Aboriginal flag.

Jessie's Australia-themed version of the Google logo beat thousands of other entrants in the search giant's Doodle 4 Google competition, which ran in schools across the country.

The 11-year-old's entry fashioned the letters in Google's logo out of native Australian animals, such as the kangaroo, koala and emu. The central "o" in the original design was the Aboriginal flag, but it has been edited out of the final version that adorned Google's home page.

The difference caused a stir in various social networking websites, which prompted a Google spokeswoman to clarify that the designer of the flag, Harold Thomas, who owns the copyright to the flag, refused to give Google permission to reproduce the design on its website.

"We were willing to do pretty much whatever we could, but in the end he decided that he just wasn't happy with it," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted the Google spokeswoman, as saying.

Meanwhile, Thomas said he allowed health, education, legal and other organizations that help Aboriginal people free use of the flag, but generally charged a fee to commercial entities.

"It's a one-off situation where a commercial company wants to use someone else's copyright, so what you do is you offer more than is necessary to convince the copyright owner to agree," Thomas said.

"They first contacted me wanting it to be used freely ... you don't start off negotiations that way - they put me on the back foot, and therefore I had to protect my interests in a respectful way," he added. (ANI)

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