You all know my feelings about Susan G. Komen (see my commentary here, here, and here). And it has always been puzzling to me that a woman whose sister supposedly died of breast cancer that metastasized would establish an organization that hardly mentions it and funds research for it far less than other organizations.
Komen (as an organization) possesses an innate hubris and avarice that allows them to treat those who infringe on their copyright with very heavy hands. It has over 200 trademarks all of which are watched over and protected by a well paid legal counsel. Komen thinks nothing of strong-arming charities for use of the words “for the cure.” In 2010, Komen legal counsel, Jonathan Blum said
“It’s never our goal to shut down a nonprofit,” he said, “and we try very hard to be reasonable, but it’s still our obligation to make sure that our trademarks are used appropriately so there’s no confusion in the marketplace over where people’s money is going.” [Huffington Post, 2010]
I would think as legal counsel that it would also be Komen’s obligation to ensure that they do not infringe on the intellectual property of other organizations. But apparently this is not the case. For as we see with the Elephant in the (Pink) Room campaign put forth by Kohls and Susan G. Komen, they took possession of the intellectual property of METAvivor without so much as a second thought.
When I saw this campaign for the first time I was not told that it infringed upon METAvivor’s copyright, but as soon as I saw it I knew it was so. In fact, it was blatantly obvious. When they were called out on it, Kohl’s Senior Vice President of Marketing called METAvivor President Kelly Lange and was apparently willing to do exactly what Komen has done for the past thirty-two years: throw up a few sentences about metastatic breast cancer and call it a day. Enough is enough.
METAvivor needs your help. The women and men with metastatic breast cancer that have been patronized for over thirty years need your help. Please continue to use social media to support METAvivor in this cause.
- OCCUPY #talkpink with messages calling for Kohls and Komen to do the right thing.
- BOYCOTT Kohls. Ask your friends to do the same.
- Please devote space on your blogs and Facebook pages to inform your readers of Kohls’ and Komen’s callous disregard for METAvivor’s intellectual property.
- Please urge your readers to BOYCOTT Kohls.
This is no joke, folks. We need to pull out all the stops and do everything we can to support METAvivor while they work with their legal team. Hopefully they will be able to take steps to make Kohls and Komen cease and desist.
These organizations have a dimension of greed that is incomprehensible to me as an individual, and it is to that greed we must address our grievance.