From software license audits to record labels suing teenagers’ parents for downloading music through a file sharing services, corporate America is working overtime to protect its intellectual property rights.

Just in the last week, the blogosphere was abuzz with news that Ford had asked the Black Mustang Club to cease and desist from using photos of their member’s cars in a club calendar. Ford was asleep at the wheel on this one, folks. As it turns out, Ford didn’t want their logo to be used on club products. But it sure started a conversation.

Or should I say added fuel to it. On January 9th, the Washington Post published “Hey, isn’t that…” an article about “photonapping.”

Basically, personal photos on Flickr are being used without permission by some irresponsible corporate marketers in an attempt to be more authentic.

Virgin Mobile, HBO, Fox and even our friends at Microsoft were all cited in the article as offenders. The most common defense: the intern did it.

If the double-standard doesn’t irk you on this one, the lack of accountability will.

What do you think?

Join the discussion One Comment

  • Lissa says:

    Can that kind of brand reinforcement and consumer loyalty even be BOUGHT?

    My grandma had a saying that’d fit all this just fine: biting your nose off to spite your face.

    Lissa

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