FC: More on Canadian smokers-rights group and flag flap

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Sat Feb 02 2002 - 00:45:08 PST

  • Next message: Declan McCullagh: "FC: Tiny church wants tiny radio signal, government says "no""

    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 14:37:24 -0500 (EST)
    From: farrellj <farrelljat_private>
    To: Declan McCullagh <declanat_private>
    Cc: politechat_private
    Subject: Re: FC: Canadian government orders smokers-rights group to delete flag
    > Your friend plevyat_private thought you might be interested in this National Post story:
    > Take Canadian flag off Web site, government tells smokers' group
    > http://www.nationalpost.com/home/story.html?f=/stories/20020130/1282714.html
    > [...]
    > The federal government ordered a smokers' rights Web site to remove their
    > image of the Canadian flag, claiming the trademarked logo misleads
    > Internet surfers into thinking the site has government approval.
    > The directive sparked wild allegations in e-mail chat rooms that the
    > government was unfairly targeting the libertarian lobby group Forces
    > Canada, which is devoted to preventing the "hysteria and extremism of the
    > U.S.-led anti-smoking movement from infecting and corrupting Canadian
    > society."
    	Well, as usual, things are not always as they seem...
    	I have worked on a Canadian Government website (strategis.ic.gc.ca),
    as well as a Science Fiction Convention (CAN-CON:The conference on Canadian
    Content in Speculative Arts and Literature...www.achilles.net/~cancon) that
    has recieved funding from the Canadian government. So this gives me a good
    perspective on the situation.
    	If you go to any Canadian Government website, such as
    http://canada.gc.ca you will see what they call the WordMark, which is the
    combination of the Canadian Flag with the department in question...at this
    web site, it is all of the government...Government of Canada/Gouvernment du
    Canada, in that sans serif font. As well, events, groups, publications etc.
    that recieve government funding also have to display the WordMark to give
    credit where credit is due. For CAN-CON, we had to put it on all of our
    flyers and publications. This is the only public thing you need to do to
    acknowledge that you got funding from a Federal Government Department. And
    it is the only way to know if the group or activity has federal funding,
    without a lot of work.
    	Now if this so-called smokers' rights group used the exact same
    format with the small Canadian Flag with Forces Canada in the same
    font...then it is not wonder that they were told to take it down. They would
    be impersonating a federally funded web site. Which I gather they are not.
    	It would be like someone using the US Presidential Seal to pretend
    to having the approval of your President for their site, (and it is not a
    satirical site.) I am sure your government would be all over the site, and
    rightly they should. Imagine if a site that was soliciting funding for al
    Qaeda used the Great Seal of the United States to pretend that they have the
    approval of the US Government.
    	No one should defraud people by pretending to have approval of their
    government when they don't.
    	And that is the issue, not the smoke screen that the spin doctors of
    Forces Canada have created. I am sure that if they plastered a huge Canadian
    Flag on their home page, they would not have any problem with the Canadian
         Farrell McGovern
    p.s. Can we invoke Godwin's Law, since the site in question uses quotes from
    p.p.s. I just found a jpg of the site and the image in question, and indeed,
    the version of the Canadian Flag with that San Serif font saying Forces
    Canada (similar to the Canadian Forces, our Military) is similar to the
    WordMark used by the Canadian Government.
    POLITECH -- Declan McCullagh's politics and technology mailing list
    You may redistribute this message freely if you include this notice.
    Declan McCullagh's photographs are at http://www.mccullagh.org/
    To subscribe to Politech: http://www.politechbot.com/info/subscribe.html
    This message is archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
    Events: Congreso Nacional de Periodismo Digital in Huesca, Spain from
    Jan. 17-18 (http://www.congresoperiodismo.com) and the Second
    International Conference on Web-Management in Diplomacy in Malta from
    Feb. 1-3. (http://www.diplomacy.edu/Web/conference2/)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat Feb 02 2002 - 01:56:24 PST