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History

#KeepCalmandCarryon Statement from @yesnomaybeltd

We join their blogpost part-way through:

When we discovered that keepcalm&carryon.com had been snapped up and was trading we checked it out and was disturbed to find a site that looked VERY similar to ours.

I also saw colour choices for prints and T shirts had been copied and our suppliers too! The product was virtually indistinguishable to ours.

Then we delved deeper and found that the Terms and conditions on their site had the same spelling mistakes that I had made in ours!

I tried sending them an email requesting they stop it and generate some new ideas – though when I was told to where stick it, I realised that the flipside of using the print without any Copyright (which legal counsel had told me was impossible) was that everyone else was perfectly welcome to also. I wanted to Sue Marc Cooper for Passing off, as I felt like he was capitalizing on the hard work and marketing I had been doing until he started – but it would be hard to prove how many sales I actually lost from people looking for a YNM Keep Calm T they had seen – on a celebrity, or a stranger in the street even – we had sold thousands before the competition existed. Fact.

And that’s business, you say. Fair enough. All our other prints are licensed from designers or artists, and we would sue if somebody copied them.

So the ‘Keep Calm situation simply became: outperform the competition. Great! I mean – frustrating, but that’s business – It meant our Keep Calm collection had to sell at a more competitive price than the rest of our range, and we had to invent interesting new twists: Nail stud prints, a Halloween edition, and of course all carry the Yes No Maybe brand logo on the neck and woven label at the bottom. For authenticity – So they can be identified as a YNM original.

That’s how we can spot Rupert Grint at a Harry Potter premiere in one of ours and Katie Price wearing one of ours in the tabloids

Marc Cooper on the News was ridiculous. He really did come across as the bad guy.

The fact is, he was not responsible for popularising the slogan. He is just part of a larger group of people (also with families and “interests” to support) who profit in one way or another from this Meme that captured the mood of the nation.

Read the full blog post.

Categories
History

#KeepCalmandCarryOn Statement from Barter Books

“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.”

Categories
History

Keep Calm and Campaign On @bbcbreakfast #Keepcalmandcarryon

This morning on @bbcbreakfast (8.20am), the story was broadcast re Mark Coop’s (successful, so far) attempt to trademark ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ within the EU (as applied to the items he sells: t-shirts, mugs, etc.).

Mark Cooper owns keepcalmandcarryon.com, which as you can see has capitalised hugely on the slogan:

On TV this morning he said:

Having quit the day job, and put my life and soul into this, and build it up, and then rely on it for my livelihood, I have to protect my own interests, you know, and faced with the risk of losing everything that you’ve worked for, I’d find it hard that other people wouldn’t do the same thing.

Apparently someone has to provide “evidence of use”…. He then said, and the bit that gets to me:

Had I not built this up, they probably would have never have heard of it, you know, they would never have, you know, even seen it, so I think they are jumping on the back of essentially what I came up with

Note that even on his site (yes, he was the first to register the domain name, and that’s his entrepreneurialism…), he (has had to) recognise that the history of it is taken from my 1997 undergraduate dissertation (and I then wrote more on it in my PhD, which I have made available under Creative Commons attribution licence):

Now bring into the argument that Barter Books were the ones to ‘discover’ the poster in a box in 2000, starting the first reprints in 2001, and the first to start producing facsimile posters/t-shirts, etc., and that (as far as I am aware) Mark Coop doesn’t own an original of the poster:

Keepcalmandcarryon.com for years carried the information that I had written for my dissertation on the site with no credit, but Barter Books have always credited my information:

Note that this information emerged from several years of research, which have involved my research time, my intellectual capacity (such as it may be), and costs for e.g. travel to the archives/photocopies/laptop to record data/web hosting costs, etc. (believe me research is not cheap, and is usually only repaid in terms of ‘reputation building’ which creates job opportunities). I have been featured in a number of press articles talking about the poster, but have not sought to capitalise financially upon this (although any items with the slogan or derivatives upon it welcomed for my collection!!), although I thought about a t-shirt/hoodie with the history written on the back. This is partly because I DON’T own an original of the poster, and am unclear about the legal status of the design. The design is Crown Copyright, which only lasts for 50 years (the @I_W_M administers this, so could tell us more), but as I understand it, you need an original to produce copies (the parodies are another matter)…

Morally and ethically, however, I think this stinks, big time.. as noted by the New York Times!! There are people with a much better claim to trademarking this, including the IWM, Barter Books, and me, but I, at least, am far too interested in the story!! We’re in a Web 2.0 world, where collaboration, acknowledgement, etc. are all-important, and this flies in the face of all this…

To note also… the Wikipedia page on this… which took me four attempts to register any information. Someone else (one of the newspapers… see also Nigel Rees used my information without attribution), had taken my information (one of the times I’m thankful to the Daily Express for alerting me) without credit, and I had to delve in amongst my research for ‘new’ information (I think I may have some more, but I need to earn a living (@bigbible @digitalfprint, @blwinch), so this gets a little neglected…

There’s an e-campaign, and a number of counter-claims (Trade Mark Direct; Freelance UK), to overturn this … I’d say “Keep Calm and Campaign On”.

My Twitter and my Facebook has certainly been busy with people contacting me this morning, and #Keepcalmandcarryon and ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ are both quite busy!

Wonder what else I’ll think of to post, as soon as this blog post goes live… comments welcomed, people!!