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back to article Anonymous declares war after French firm trademarks its logo

A French company trying to trademark the Anonymous logo and slogan for commercial purposes has inspired an angry response from a team claiming to be affiliated with the hacking group. The company Early Flicker, or E-Flicker, has registered the headless man logo and the slogan 'We are Anonymous, We do not forgive, We do not …

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Oh dear.

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Pirate

@moiety

"oh dear"

Not if its on purpose. This could be a way to get the script kiddies to reveal themselves as they attack this company with their self righteous kiddie anger.

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Re: @moiety

Maybe its lack of communication within Anonymous. It might be members who have registered it but the guy sending out the threats doesn't know who they are.

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Re: @moiety

This time it's not actually self righteous kiddie anger. E-Flicker has copyrighted an image and a slogan they quite clearly did not create or buy the rights to. I'd say the Anonymous lot are justifiable in their anger, although considering their stance towards piracy it's also very hypocritical.

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WTF?

Re: @moiety

"E-Flicker has copyrighted an image and a slogan they quite clearly did not create or buy the rights to."

You do realise that anonymous have no qualms about using images and styles from the V for Vendetta comics, right? If they were so bloody intelligent and creative they might at least try and create their own. However given that they're mostly just a bunch of juvenile keyboard warriors who think they'll change the world inbetween bouts of Call of Duty without an original thought in their heads its hardly a surprise.

"Anonymous lot are justifiable in their anger"

So let me get this straight - these muppets hack into systems and release personal data and cause generally chaos internet chaos wherever they go , yet THEY are justified in some company ripping off a style they themselves ripped off from a film and comic book? Give me a friggin break.

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Re: @moiety

On top of that, no one copyrighted ANYTHING. They registered a trademark for specific commercial use. Unless Anonymous shows that THEY already used this image in a similar commercial way, this turns into lawyer-speak. Anonymous hasn't done much of that yet...

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Anonymous Coward

AND

It also means that company could be held accountable for anything done under "their logo" or "their banner".

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Trollface

Re: AND

/me gets popcorn and pulls up a chair to watch

This could be fun.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AND

Oh yes. On the one side, a group who studiously avoids any accountability and thus seems to think it's above the law. Ergo, anything they do in one and the same place is a risk as it may expose members.

On the other side, a company who used the lawless state of the other party to play games and take something that has no *official* owner but which is definitely NOT theirs (unless they want to accept the associated liability like another commenter already remarked), and thus did the electronic equivalent of bashing a nest of bad tempered hornets without an escape route.

This could get very entertaining. Or boring, because it's not exactly hard to work out what Anonymous is going to do..

Anonymous, but not a member of THAT Anonymous..

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Re: AND

It also means that company could be held accountable for anything done under "their logo" or "their banner".

E-Flicker: Hello is that the police? This is E-Flicker we've been hacked by Anonymous.....

Police: But aren't you Anonymous?

E-Flicker: Only when we want to make money from it, but not in this case

Police: So have you hacked yourself or not?

E-Flicker: While we are Anonymous we aren't technically Anonymous

Police: I think you'd better come down the station and hand yourself in

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Facepalm

Re: Re: AND

Please don't be too silly. All E-Flicker are doing is trademarking the symbol for use on merchandise, not accepting responsibility for the action of a load of skiddies. It's exactly the same as a clothing manufacturer in Thailand making fancydress shirts with the NaziI logo on, it does not make them responsible for the Nazi's actions. What E-Flicker are doing is making money out of the appetite of some numpties to identify themselves with the Anons, not becoming Anons.

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Re: AND

"It's exactly the same as a clothing manufacturer in Thailand making fancydress shirts with the NaziI logo on, it does not make them responsible for the Nazi's actions."

A. No it's not. It would be if the clothing manufacturer onwed the trademark on the swastika and the phrase "Sieg Heil". They might then have some explaining to do re events carried out under their trademark.

B. Godwin's Law. You lose.

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FAIL

Re: Re: AND

".....No it's not...." How is it not? E-Flicker are simply trademarking the logo to stop other companies in France making cash from the gormless sheeple that will buy Anon-branded gear. In the same manner, companies making Nazi uniforms for fancydress are just taking advantage of Princes with too much money and too little sense (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4170083.stm). The difference is you have an emotional tie to the Anon brand due to you being a member of the herd, whilst you have no sympathy for the Prince seeing as you are probably an anti-monarchist, anit-capitalist, anti-anything-the-herders-tell-me-to-hate.....

".....Godwin's Law. You lose." You're just demonstrating your short attention span seeing as it was one of your fellow bleaters that introduced Nuremberg into the thread. I suggest you need to go buy an Anon-branded T-shirt from E-Flicker so others can spot that you aren't worth wasting intellect on.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AND

"It also means that company could be held accountable for anything done under "their logo" or "their banner"."

So, if I create a logo. Some one rips it off and sticks it on a tshirt. They then rob a bank with their faces hidden and the only recognisable mark is the t-shirt. By this argument I would be responsible.

By having copyright over the logo, the company could sue Anonymouse for copyright infringement, but that's about it. How can they be held responsible for someone breaking their copyright.

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Re: AND

Due to an earlier discussion:

E-Flicker CEO: Hey, how's our security?

E-Flicker IT boss: We're good. We're firewalled, we require users to use complex passwords that change regularly, and we're filtering our inbound email for viruses. Ummm... why do you ask?

E-Flicker CEO: I've got an idea for another T-shirt design that may cause some hard feelings. Don't worry about it for now, I'll keep you posted.

Next day (after IT boss reads Register article):

CEO: Hey, did you see all the free publicity we're getting?

IT boss: I quit.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AND

IT Boss: Can I have some money for a pen test and PCI compliance?

CEO: No, we've just spent all the dosh on your security and a new logo

IT Boss: Ok, I'll improvise

(anon, for trademark reasons)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AND

Pops top on beer and giggles uncontrollably...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: AND

"Who" is on First, "What is on Second" and "I Don't Know" is on Third

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Re: AND

And "I Don't Give a Damn" is the short stop! A&C cleaned it up a bit over time and the short stop became "I Don't Care!"... Either works here I think. :-)

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Re: AND

They also used "I Don't Give a Darn!" for SS, but the original was as I posted...

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Er, about your banter....

All good up until "numpties". Obviously, from context, a derogatory term, but would you be so kind, if you have a moment, as to provide a trustworthy translation? Many thanks,

Literate but "missed that one" in California

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Boffin

Re: Er, about your banter....

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Numpty

A Scottish shortening of the term "numb skull", usually applied to someone that is amusingly naive or childish rather than being vindictively stupid, with the implication that they are a conman's dream.

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Re: AND

"B. Godwin's Law. You lose."

Go and read it; Godwin merely stated "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches". It is not a law, it is merely a supposed observation of probability (one that I've not seen investigated, and I'm not sure that I would like to be responsible for designing the research to investigate such catch all silliness) but, there again, as an online discussion grows longer the probability that anything may be said or compared grows. There is nothing particularly special, insightful or even scientific about Godwin's 'law', which is not a law at all. It is a banal, catch all quotable passage that has captured people's imaginations and even caused them to remark that the conversation must be over, Godwin's 'law' has been confirmed. Very weak and, even if it has been confirmed, so what? What fresh insight do we derive from this?

It is also fair to say that the owner of a symbol cannot be held responsible for something done by people adopting it as their symbol. Otherwise the Pringles logo would have to fall due to the use of their clothing by violent, right wing football thugs, ditto Ben Sherman 40 years ago; latterly, given their direct connection with the German war machine Hugo Boss would not be allowed to manufacture fashion goods today, since they were responsible for the notoriously fashionable, glamorous nature of German military clothing during the war, and there is a right wing group in modern Germany that wears garments with a logo (I can't recall the specifics and will carefully avoid naming the one that I think it is) that they also use as a symbol.

Much that was symbolic of German industrial, design and scientific prowess and associated with the events that culminated in a meeting on the Soltau-Lüneberg heath sometime in May 1945 still exists. Look at modern Audi design, particularly the Audi TT, Mercedes, IG Farben... ...the culture of a nation was embedded, poured, moulded into the events that overtook Germany, partly because a charismatic - you might say daemonic - leader browbeat the chancellor into giving in, even though he lacked the neccessary elected seats (by one), who bullied, browbeat and frightened his own people, shaping their will in the manner of steel being bashed on an anvil, frightening some, capitalising on the resentment in others (after WW I Lloyd-George was disgusted at the reparations being inflicted on the Germans, pointedly saying it would lead to another war, and he was correct, or this discussion would not be taking place now). It is unsurprising that the cultural symbols hijacked by these people survived, and came out on the other side.

By another way of illustration, remember this; the Swastika was taken from an older culture and reversed: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4183467.stm Perhaps we are going to hold them to account for WWII, instead of the French who felt that German war reparations should be so vicious that their recession and currency crisis would cause the price of a loaf of bread to require a full barrow of notes in payment... ...or perhaps the Germans, who forced the French to sign a humiliating treaty in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles, or the French before them who inflicted the same on them, and so on back in history, each regime marching under its own (monarchical) symbols.

Godwin? Godwin amuses but contributes no enlightenment.

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Go

Re: AND

Nice contribution. Still, it's no accident Godwin mentions Nazis instead of something else.

Much more likely to crop up than, say, anti-monarchism (though I think we got that too in this thread), and even socialist or capitalist slogans/comparisons.

Yes, it does amuse, but (to me at least) it also warns: don't descend into making extreme comparisons, even if the other posters are obviously mindless trolls who should be shown the error of their ways: nothing good can come of it.

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Re: AND

"Still, it's no accident Godwin mentions Nazis instead of something else."

It is a fine example of the 'recency effect'. Otherwise he'd have been citing Roman barbarities, e.g. (...others include Turkish genocide of Armenians...). Forget the punishment of decimation, remember crucifixion punishments; hundreds of people crucified alongside roads and left to die and rot, the subsequent stench hanging around these necessary lines of communication for however long it takes for microbial organisms, carrion and scavengers to remove the trace. Think of the complete destruction of Carthage, the slaughter of of the city of Carthage's citizens, and enslavement of those who remained. Consider the Roman habit of putting Christians in the arena, to fight big cats with their bare hands. Lidice was nothing compared to Roman might and anger.

If you prefer to focus on anti Semitism, remember the burning of Jews in York and Winchester, that Jews were ironically allowed back in this country because of the very barbaric Cromwell.

OTOH, consider Stalin. Under his reign there were always some 11 million people in penal labour battalions, with a very high mortality rate, and that is merely the tip. The main reason why we do not focus on this example? Because during WWII our forerunners were taught that Stalin was our ally and, indeed, the myth continued all the way up to at least the 1980s, when students at the university where I studied told me of the virtuousness of Stalinism as opposed to western democracy.

No one is clean, right down to the Barbary ('Libyan') pirates who raided Europe (particularly the south west of England and Ireland) for white gold, aka slaves. Throughout Europe they made off with at least 1.5 million.

As to your last exhortation, I'm an ex soldier, I've seen active duty, I've been a lot closer to death as a civvy in a very dangerous job and I take most exhortations with a pinch of salt, especially when they are phrased as an instruction; I'm done with orders.

HTH.

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Paris Hilton

comprehensively pwned

That phrase made me do a LOL.

I imagine these French dudes will be part of a forthcoming comprehensive pwnage strategy as a result of their marketing genuis...

Paris because she's fully comprehensive herself in many ways.

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Bear well and truly poked

Of course, as AC suggested, they should perhaps carry out everything as if they were that company....

Chortle

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Anonymous Coward

Who are these people ?

That is all

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who are these people ?

Nobody knows - they're anonymous. Who are you?

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Re: Who are these people ?

(One person) Company registration:

EARLY FLICKER 520 522 020 R.C.S. PARIS Acronym : EFK

Trade name : OR EBENE;CATCH THE WORLD;PICK YOUR WORLD;E-FLICKER;EFLICKER;EARLY FLICKER;EARLY CHALLENGE

Head office 27 R JEAN GIRAUDOUX, 75116 PARIS

Activity (NAF code) 6201Z (Computer programming)

Legal form SOCIÉTÉ À RESPONSABILITÉ LIMITÉE À ASSOCIÉ UNIQUE

Key figures at 31/12/2011 Revenue : 33 528 € Result : 349 €

Registered on 03/03/2010

Trade mark registration:

No National : 12 3 897 980, 12 3 897 981 Dépôt du : 16 FÉVRIER 2012

Early Flicker, EURL, 27 rue Jean Giraudoux, 75116 PARIS.

Early Flicker, M. Apollinaire Auffret, 27 rue Jean Giraudoux, 75116 PARIS

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Do they also like

to kick bears and poke wasp nests with sticks?

Maybe they just bought a load of insurance.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do they also like

Now *that's* what I call entrepreneurial risk taking. :)

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Re: Do they also like

I poked a bamboo cane into a wasp nest once having been dared and goaded into it by a "friend"...only one wasp came out but it made a beeline (!) for my eyes and stung me on my eyebrow. I have not done this again.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do they also like

This should even happen. Prior use should mean that they can't copyright it anyway.

Basically, they're getting their IT fried for nothing.

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Boffin

Re: Do they also like

".... Prior use should mean that they can't copyright it anyway...." Apparently that's not correct. Someone would have to come forward and claim ownership of the logo, and I don't think that's going to happen for very obvious legal reasons. It's just like smiley emoticons, used for years before being trademarked by the Smiley Company.

If E-Flicker are smart, they will sub out the distribution and use an online retailer like eBay to handle the LOIC attacks. Then the Anonyputzs can hit the E-Flicker website all they like and it won't stop the cash rolling in. The fun bit will be if they try to register the logo in the States.

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Devil

Re: Do they also like

And then the anon setup hundreds of fake ebay accounts bidding millions of pounds for teeshirts which will never sell.

And ebay doesn't like refunding sellers who waste its time and resources by not actually making sales.

Well done; got any other "clever" ideas?

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Facepalm

Re: Re: Do they also like

"And then the anon setup hundreds of fake ebay accounts bidding millions of pounds for teeshirts which will never sell...." So you're advocating fraud? Be very careful, a DDOS attack is troublesome but hard to put a value on the result of the crime, but fraud is very easy to prove in court and can be tied to the individual fake accounts. And some Anonyputz that gets caught might finger you as the "genius" that gave him the idea.

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Re: Do they also like

Um, no...

To own a copyright you have to have created it or bought the rights, this gives you ownership over this content. A trademark is different. A trademark is just a "mark" under which your are trading your goods. You have to register the mark and what the goods are to protect you from others selling goods under the same mark.

Apple owns that mark for computers, but there is Apple, reality, Apple education products etc that are different companies. Apple took there name from Apple records (another mark) and ran into trouble when the started selling music and not just computers.

There is Infinity Realty, but they have no relation the car company etc.

You can trademark something that is in public domain, but you have to specify what goods you are selling under that Mark. This is how company's like Banks Use Ben Franklin's name, or Baby Einstein uses old Albert's name.

Some one could easily open a car dealership under the name Google or IBM.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do they also like

I like the way my Google drives, but never try and go anywhere evil in the damn thing ... every time you creep up to the border, the windows go dark and it speeds out of control. Obviously no relation to that California outfit.

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Nope, Baby Einstein paid for the privilege

Rob Dobs:"You can trademark something that is in public domain, but you have to specify what goods you are selling under that Mark. This is how [..] Baby Einstein uses old Albert's name."

Actually Baby Einstein *didn't* (and presumably weren't able to) do that. In fact, they pay a whole load of money for the privilege of giving their questionable learning aids a spurious association with Einstein's name. From the Wikipedia article:-

"The Baby Einstein Company pays a significant amount of money to Corbis, on behalf of the estate of renowned physicist Albert Einstein, for the use of the Einstein name, though the products have virtually nothing to do with Einstein or his work (however, Disney uses a disclaimer that Einstein is a trademark of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem)."

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Devil

@Matt Bryant

Here's an idea for you: rub some chili in your eyes. Now you can finger me in court all you like.

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FAIL

Re: @Matt Bryant

"Here's an idea for you...." Why am I SOOOOO not surprised your "idea" adds nothing intellectual to the thread.

"....Now you can finger me in court...." Ew! I don't know what you and your Anonyputz chums get up to in private but I have desire to finger you anywhere! Besides, it will be the cops taking you to court if you mix with the Anons. Lay down with dogs, get fleas, etc.

A quick search for "anonymous t-shirt" on eBay shows other sellers flogging items with the Anon barnd on them that look suspiciously like the ones that were on the E-Flicker website. Looks like the Anons will have to start intimidating every small-time entrepreneur that sticks his head over the parapet!

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Devil

Stupid thing to do...

...but funny as all hell!

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Re: Stupid thing to do...

It is dicey, but could be a dark genius. The irony is exquisite.

It could also be a trap, as others have said.

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So they didn't create the name or symbolism...

...they didn't have any part in the name or symbols promotion into public consciousness. And yet they'd like to take out a trademark making themselves the sole beneficiaries of any business around these things and legally prevent anyone else from doing so. Wow - love those social ethics.

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Re: So they didn't create the name or symbolism...

They must be a subsidiary of Apple.

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Happy

Re: So they didn't create the name or symbolism...

You could look at in the reverse by saying their actions provide a public service by helping to mark out the sheeple that will buy Anon-branded gear, in which case I say let them take some of the numpties' money.

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Re: So they didn't create the name or symbolism...

Maybe they are angel/anonymous investors operating in stealth mode of a sort? Even if they are not, the REAL Anonymous might step up and purse suede them to hand over the funds.

Interestingly, it could work out that the Marketing Anonymous inadvertently becomes a literal "store front" for the Hacking/Cracking Anonymous, and thus a proxy. The HC Anonymous might even gain enough control to deprive the opportunistic Marketing Anonymous from even DARING to think of calling it quits.

This could prove to be an interesting topic in Marketing/Econ/Business/Business Law in colleges/unis the world over.

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Headmaster

Re: So they didn't create the name or symbolism...

"You could look at in the reverse by saying their actions provide a public service by helping to mark out the sheeple that will buy Anon-branded gear, in which case I say let them take some of the numpties' money."

Taking your disregard for other people's tastes and political values at face value, your argument is still incorrect. The current situation is that there is no trademark. Anyone can stick the Anonymous logo on a t-shirt and no copyright or trademark holder is likely to come forward and stop them. You have been arguing for a situation in which one company has a monopoly on this and can shut down any competition. Thus reducing the ease with which people can purchase or self-produce such clothing.

Ergo, as someone who likes to feel superior to other people based on what they wear, you would be better off not supporting the trademark claim as it runs counter to your need to belittle others.

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Re: So they didn't create the name or symbolism...

Given how many dudes in Mexico are wearing Anon paraphernalia (ie Guy Fawkes masks, which are trademarked for other reasons) but aren't actually part of the Anonymous HC group, I doubt that would work.

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