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
    Richard (profile), 26 Jan 2010 @ 2:35pm

    Re:

    I think there are some colonialist undertones here that you aren't picking up on. The fact that a commenter here thought the aboriginal people seemed like a "bunch of greedy bitches" just shows a complete ignorance of context and history.

    Free culture is all well and good for those who've profited economically from their own culture for years. But to demand that the cultural property of indigenous peoples, minorities, and developing countries be free for use by western, FOR PROFIT companies like Google is arrogant at best (and that's being generous). It may seem like an information revolution to you, but to them it's just the same old song and dance (westerners taking their property and reaping all the economic benefits).


    It seems to me that you totally misunderstand the purpose of a flag.

    Of course the commenter who described the aboriginals as "a bunch of greedy bitches" is off mark too - because they wern't asking for money.

    What has actually happened is that just one "greedy bitch" has denied the aboriginal people and their culture some much needed publicity and spoiled the day of an 11 year old.

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