“Barter Books wish to make it clear that Mark Coop has no ethical or moral right to ‘Keep Calm’. The reverse – when he first jumped on the band-wagon, six years after it was first put on sale, and two years after the Guardian feature and subsequent TV that started the worldwide spread, it was already well established. We have records showing when he first bought a poster from us prior to starting his ‘business’ and his written admission that he used that image, after removing our name, without either asking or acknowledging his source. He even took our history of the poster, which is our copyright, without acknowledging either ourselves or Dr Bex Lewis, whose dissertation was the prime source. (Subsequent correspondence got him to at least acknowledge Dr Bex!)
By the time he formed the company ‘Keep Calm and Carry On Ltd.’ and subsequently got an EU trade mark for the phrase, it was already in use by literally hundreds of other people (many kind enough to acknowledge their source!) and this trade mark should never have been allowed.”
Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.