French court decision supporting Greenpeace's right to criticise French nuclear company, Areva, is a wake up call to ExxonMobil to stop hiding behind trademark law and to support moves to combat climate change rather than continuing to deny its existence.
Greenpeace's parody of the logo of French nuclear fuel company, Areva, exposing the deadly nature of their business. Areva are sponsoring the French entry in yachting's 2003 Americas Cup
In a victory for freedom of expression on the internet, a judge
in the French High Court ruled Friday 2nd August that Greenpeace
had a right to parody the logo of French nuclear fuel company,
Areva, as part of its campaign to expose the company's dirty
nuclear activities. Areva are fully aware that their image needs
attention as they are trying to present themselves as 'clean'
through their sponsorship of the French entry in yachting's
Americas Cup race in 2003. The French judge ruled against Areva's
claim that the logo on the Greenpeace New Zealand and France
websites broke French commercial trademark law. The court upheld
Greenpeace's right to express opposition to the impact Areva's
nuclear reprocessing and nuclear transports have on the
Areva's main subsidiary company, the plutonium reprocessing
company COGEMA, has contaminated the seas around France, while
Areva's parent body, the French Atomic Energy Commission has
polluted Moruroa Atoll, France's former nuclear test site in the
South Pacific. Areva's activities continue to put the global
environment and public health at risk. This decision in favour of
Greenpeace by the French High Court has dealt a blow to Areva's
attempt to use the law to censor criticism of the company.
The landmark Areva judgment was in complete contrast to the one
a few weeks earlier when another judge in France had ruled that
Greenpeace must cease its use of the StopE$$o parody logo in
France. Greenpeace had designed the logo as part of its campaign to
expose parent company, ExxonMobil's blatant denial of it's
responsibility to the world to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
This victory for the freedom of expression and the right to
criticise corporate polluters is a wake up call to ExxonMobil to
stop hiding behind trademark law and to support moves to combat
climate change rather than continue to deny its existence. Their
attempts to suppress the universally held view that burning fossil
fuels, their core business, causes climate change, are of course
highly damaging but are also ridiculous and an affront to the
intelligence of their customers. ExxonMobil, the largest company in
the world, somehow does not realise that their current customers
can choose to buy petrol from other companies who are already
funding the provision of clean energy resources and supporting
climate protection measures like the Kyoto Protocol.
Both private citizens and public campaigning groups alike have a
right, and maybe even a duty, to expose the real nature of
polluting companies and this includes the creative use of such
tools as the internet. ExxonMobil should heed the warnings of the
Areva case and learn that their days of looking for the Law's help
to aide them in their denial of responsibility are numbered.
on the Areva court decision from our website in New