Well, that didn't take long. Earlier today, we brought you a story of how one French retailer had trademarked the Anonymous logo for his own use. He is using the faceless man logo and the slogan on a variety of t-shirts at the moment, but that could expand to other products. I guessed that it wouldn't be long before Anonymous caught wind of it and took to action, but I didn't expect it to take off so fast.
But take off fast it did. Anonymous just announced Operation AnonTrademark via the group's French branch. The original video detailing the operation was in French, but it has now been translated into English by the U.S. branch to start a global campaign against Early Flicker.
Here's the transcript of their message to Early Flicker:
"Anonymous logo and slogan has been defiled and registered through the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). An online t-shirt company online called "Early Flicker" or "E-flicker" has registered the anonymous slogan and logo and passed it on as their own. Now under French law the company owns the rights to the anonymous logo and slogan.
In a response the National Institute of Industrial Property said that "the conditions seem fulfilled since the mark is registered and it does not seem to have made use."
Their arrogance and ignorance of what they have done will not go unpunished. Anonymous will take down any business they have going on the internet and the ninety-nine percent will not stop until the registration has been revoked and a public apology has been made.
The name of Anonymous will not be the whore of the world."
I haven't seen Anonymous this angry at a single entity in a while. They have already started posting the personal details, including phone number, address, personal email address, and Google+/Facebook accounts of the man behind Early Flicker, Apollinaire Auffret. There also seems to be plans to launch a massive DDoS campaigns against Early Flicker's Web sites.
I spoke to some members of Anonymous on the matter and they said that they would have no problem if Early Flicker was just selling Anonymous t-shirts. Their problem is that Anonymous has already registered the logo and slogan under a Creative Commons license. For Early Flicker to trademark it as his own creation is illegal. That being said, they still love the people that make Anonymous merchandise using the CC license.
It looks like this operation isn't going to be over anytime soon. It will be interesting to see how Early Flicker responds. If its found that they have trademarked a Creative Commons licensed image, that could spell trouble for him.