“We regret that we did not react to the fact that the Swedish political climate is so heated just at the moment,” Marika Bark for publishers Egmont Kärnan, told news website DN.se.
The edition in question is entitled “Kalle Anka – en laddad affär” (Donald Duck – a loaded business) and features an enterprising Kalle’s plan to burn a hundred copies of Åke Skrål’s latest record and earn a quick buck.
Kalle gets the idea from his nephews – Knatte, Fnatte and Tjatte (Huey, Dewey and Louie) – who have downloaded their idol’s record, but only to listen to it while they save up enough money to pay for an original.
The trio are outraged at their devious uncle’s plan and argue in chorus that it would be dishonest, underlining the importance of copyright legislation and the right of artists to earn a crust.
Big music, in the shape of billionaire tycoon Joakim von Anka (Scrooge McDuck), catches the hapless Kalle red-handed and collars him for royalties owed to his record company.
Kalle Anka’s remorseful plea that he bought the record in the first place narrowly saves his bacon and that of the younger generation of his family who thus escape prosecution for breach of copyright.
The comic has been published in a series of countries but has created intense debate in Sweden after apparently pointing out that original CDs are the only real deal and that music has to be bought, as well as the portrayal of record company benevolence.
Egmont Kärnan now regrets the controversy it has caused and the impression that they had taken a stand on the issue.
Marika Bark denied to DN.se that the comic had been published as a deliberate contribution to the debate around file-sharing, integrity and internet piracy.