Online Campaign Against Mattel Silenced by Questionable Trademark Claims

by chris eaton

June 10, 2011

Copyright claim

As part of Greenpeace’s Barbie campaign to draw attention to Mattel’s use of packaging connected to deforestation in Indonesia, Greenpeace USA ran satirical Facebook ads like the one above.

After running the ads for three days, we received a notice late last night that the ads were being removed due to a third-party complaint on trademark infringement. Click here to see a screenshot of the whole notice.

According to our legal analysis prior to the campaign, this complaint to Facebook that Greenpeace violated trademark rights is a meritless attempt to stop us from conveying to the public the practices of Mattel that contribute to deforestation.

Greenpeace used Ken and Barbie in a satirical, noncommercial way, which falls outside of trademark protection.

This is an attempt to silence our right to free speech, the sharing of information on the internet and our work to make Mattel protect rainforests and the 400 remaining Sumatran tigers in the wild.

We are all being silenced by this action, so please join in telling Mattel’s CEO to cut his company’s ties to deforestation.

The web should be a free and open conduit for information and ideas.

Can you help us keep it that way by promoting this mock Ken Facebook profile demanding Mattel protect forests?

By chris eaton

chris is the Senior Digital Campaigns Manager at Greenpeace USA. He's passionate about building movements and connecting change makers through digital storytelling. Follow him on Twitter at @chr15_eat0n.

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