Google Prevented From Using Australian Aboriginal Flag Because It's Covered By Copyright

from the who-copyrights-a-flag? dept

A whole bunch of folks have been sending in the news of Google needing to edit out the Aboriginal flag that was originally a part of an Australia Day Google logo. Google had apparently run a contest for a logo and an 11-year-old girl had won, after designing the logo, using various animals native to Australia, with the Aboriginal flag behind one of the "O"s. But when the logo went up on the site, it was missing the flag:
It wasn't a case of Google being insensitive. It was a case of Google being forced to remove it because, believe it or not, the Australian Aboriginal flag is covered by copyright, and the copyright holder wouldn't let Google use it because the company had asked if it could use it for free. It's hard to fathom why anyone would ever want a flag covered by copyright (do we need more incentives to create new flags?). The report notes that the artist "designed the flag as a symbol of unity and national identity" in the 1970s, but apparently that unity and identity doesn't extend to anyone else actually displaying the flag without paying for it.

Filed Under: aboriginal, australia, copyright, flags
Companies: google


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  1. icon
    Hosermage (profile), 26 Jan 2010 @ 2:25pm

    look at it this way...

    The goal was to have a picture that represented Australia for the Australia day. A little girl simply thought it would be nice to include the flag because it represented a part of Australia, not knowing the flag was copyrighted. The copyright holder, while should be flattered, has perfectly good reason to deny the request since it may not want to have any ties to any corporations. Now ask yourself this:

    Would you feel any different if it was Microsoft (or any other evil company) that made the request and was denied?

    If a Chinese company was making a drawing that represented America and it included the confederate flag, would you feel any better if it was denied to do so, assuming the flag was copyrighted?

    Anyone can make a flag, you can make a flag for your family if you want and copyright it. Would you give anyone free permission to use it? Wouldn't you feel that it's your right to deny anyone from using it, regardless of your reasons?

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