Asking for trouble

22 Aug 2012

There are some things that should never be attempted, such as keeping honey badgers, or inviting Frankie Boyle to address the local branch of the Women’s Institute, or publicly declaring that your website is “completely secure”.

Attempting to copyright the logo of hacking collective Anonymous and its slogan (“Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”) probably belongs in that category.

But that is what French fashion retailer, Early Flicker, has attempted. Figuring that the collective is hardly going to file suit for copyright infringement, the company has sought to make a land grab for the Anonymous logo and slogan. 

However, unlike the US Patent Office, which will take anything, the French Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle has proved to be more truculent. Although it initially allowed the filing, it later backtracked, saying that perhaps there was, after all, sufficient evidence of prior art to invalidate it.

In any case, claimed Anonymous, it is already covered under a Creative Commons licence. And the outfit would no doubt fight like honey badgers anyone that genuinely attempted such an intellectual property heist.

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