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Kate

After working in a corporate environment, where intellectual property rights had to be respected - even a parody of a popular ad campaign to encourage employees to take a survey was gunned down by our legal department! - I know how demanding corporations can be about brand identity.

However, if they can't find a way to participate in the cause, they should have quietly requested the cease-and-desist, with some incentive, such as a donation to the cause. I'm sure the artist would realize that the same laws that protect his/her work from being plagarized or copied also protect the Vuitton folks, too.

I do wish Vuitton had taken a deep breath and tried to find a better solution. Perhaps they should consider adding a special hangtag to their products with this image, indicating that the company donates to the cause & encourage the consumer to do so, too.

Social Network Web Design

I actually don't see anything wrong with the picture. I get the artist's point and I'm surprised at the reaction of the brand people. LV could have actually used this photo ad to their advantage. Why sue? It only encourages more talk about the issue.

Brad Bell

Brands today think they should be able to control every representation of themselves, and they can twist and turn copyright and trademark law to achieve it. (I'm sure Britany Spears shares the sentiment, although more justifiably. If only she could trademark herself somehow.)

It's funny and ironic that at the very moment that communications technology becomes egalitarian, those who once had unparalleled power start suing individuals for expressing themselves. Even more ironically, the brands seem to go after the pen and paper types.

I'm also thinking of the case of the artist who got a cease and desist from Volkswagen for drawing a fanciful version of a VW Beetle. You can mod your car, but you can't draw a modded car.

It's like some kind of demented Platonic ideal, where you can do what you like with products, but you can't alter the perfect, immaterial 'form' of the product.

In the future, big corporations will own the world, brand it, and you won't even be able to take a picture of yourself naked because you'll get sued by Dupont for misrepresenting the colour of the paint on the walls.

Ted Grigg

I'm not surprised by the reaction of the brand people.

But my takeaway of the message is poverty in the midst of plenty. And I don't even take it as an insult in spite of my personal attraction to quality brands.

These creative drawings express something words often fail to do. And the context in which one sees the image may also influence one's interpretation of its meaning.

For one thing, not every one will react the same way or interpret images similarly.

I do agree with you that the branders need to take a deep breath and give people credit for some degree of intelligence. This image in no way hurts their image. Additionally, they can't control how writers, artists and communicators in general will use their brand. That's called free speech.

Matt

Louis Vuitton has no claim because 1st Amendment protects free speech especially free speech that is a social commentary or critique

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