« Straining pollution from the air | Main | Less talk, more action. »

Trademarking integrity

Trademarks are powerful because they visually and clearly identify the companies who own them and their products. When a trademark is used to control the ability of a critic to clearly identify the target of her criticism, trademark is being perverted and is being used to undermine democratic discourse.

Dead on. Using intellectual property laws to stifle consumers violates a basic consumer right: the right to publish an opinion about their purchase.

I see no reason why consumers discussing corporations should be restricted from referencing them using one of the most prominent public features a corporation can publish, the logo.

People on eBay have the right to provide negative feedback, associated with the public aspect of my identity; Consumer Reports has existed for years with the sole purpose of providing consumers with positive and negative feedback about products, with great success. Why should it be any different when providing feedback about corporations?

Are organizations exempt from the social and legal rules that apply to individuals? Nike recently argued for the right to mislead consumers, en masse; many, many corporations consciously lied about their earnings in the past few years (as emphasized by Enron); representatives commonly make promises during elections, then ignore them at will.

Individuals can get $10,000 and 10 years in jail for lying, intentionally or not, on certain government paperwork.

Where's the constraints for organizations? Consumers appear to no longer exert pressure on corporations for honesty, integrity, etc. Without that pressure, things have begun to turn sour. The recent war, in violation of U.N. regulations, was supported en masse by the public — and with the support of the public, how can one resist?

Until the populace begins to exert an influence requiring honesty, organizations will continue degenerating; as organizations degrade further and further each year (our government, by now, no exception), our populace in general gains more disillusionment and more apathy.

Without a strong consumer influence for integrity, many major organizations have begun degrading into something worse. This can only be stopped with participation, common interest groups, and the will of a thousand thousand concerned people.


Is it legal to use the term Bachelors when issuing a degree from a non-accredited university?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

Recent Posts

Powered by TypePad




  • Antispam
  • Cloudmark
  • Shadows
  • Styles
  • You were here
  • floating atoll


  • Search


  • Ads