The other day I wrote about the Black Mustang Club and Ford. Ford has come to it’s senses, sort of. Cory Doctorow reports about the latest chapter of an all too familiar scattergun approach to Brand Identity. Black Mustang Club calendar is go, Ford releases images under Creative Commons — a he said/she said blow-by-blow – Boing Boing
The executive summary is that Ford acknowledges that you do own your own Ford, and without admitting fault, attempts to explain that they were merely protecting their Trademark. That CafePress became a list mom nanny for corporate america, is disturbing and merits an examination as to it’s suitability as a publisher for your work. That however is a discussion suited for another day.
A Trademark is a mark used in trade. Usually consisting of a unique Logo or design, with or without, words, produced by the company that makes the products that you may buy. An example is the blue oval with the word FORD written in cursive, that Ford has been using since the first Model T rolled off the assembly line.
The Trademark issue is a real and justified concern. It is an issue that is important to you as a consumer, as you should have a reasonable expectation of having products and services that use the Ford Logo, are either produced by Ford, or whose manufacture and sale is licensed by Ford.
Quite an Industry as the lawyers can crank out letters and bill like crazy. The damage to the companies that employ this strategy of control are incalculable. From specific products to entire Brand and Company boycotts. In the Internet Age, this can happen at the speed of light.