Friday, May 06, 2011

Media activists can't use the term 'radical' says corporation

Activists, bloggers and radical journalists have launched a campaign
to reclaim the words 'radical media' from a US based corporation which
has trademarked the phrase in the UK.

When Peace News [1] started to plan a conference on activism, media
and social change, they thought the generic phrase 'radical media'
would be a simple description of what they were doing, so decided to
call their conference 'The Radical Media Conference'. They were
shocked to receive a threatening legal letter from an American
advertising agency (called who had trademarked the
phrase in Europe and the UK. [2]

Stunned, when they were advised that a best case scenario would mean a
legal bill of £ 30-40k to fight for the right to use the phrase;
Organisers, reluctantly, agreed to rename the October conference
'Rebellious Media Conference'.

Milan Rai, who received the legal letter on behalf of the conference
summed-up the organisers' response: "Our collective jaws dropped, how
could anyone own an adjective? But, a legal fight would leave us tens
of thousands of pounds down, money which - even if we had it - should
be spent on more useful, more radical things than legal fees."

News of the legal threats quickly spread via social media as a diverse
spectrum of activists and media professionals came together to resist
corporate bulling. Individuals furious that large corporations can
trade mark generic phrases this week launched a fight-back campaign
under the banner 'we make radical media, you make adverts'. Climbers
scaled lampposts in London's Tottenham Court Road to hang banners
bearing this slogan, taking the campaign to the UK offices of [3]

Ben King, who is involved in the new campaign said "Those here today
are involved in truly radical media. It is laughable that - as
revolutions spread through social media, across the Arab world - a
company which makes adverts for Nike, IBM, Vodafone and Old Spice dare
describe itself as radical, let alone trademark the word."

The conference will take place in London on the weekend of 8-9th
October 2011. Organisers of the newly renamed "rebellious media
Conference" are calling for support to retain the URL

[1] Peace News is a radical newspaper published since 1934

[2] Read the full legal letter at

[3] Multinational PR and production company Radical Media has a London
desk at 1 Alfred Mews, W1T 7AA.

More information:

Contact Ben on 07941519445, or Bek on 07901 822 694.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.

No comments: