Cory Doctorow savages an attempt by Air Canada to go after its critics using trademark law. The target is the proprietor of a website hosting an online petition calling for the removal of Air Canada's president. The site's crime? Borrowing Air Canada's maple-leaf logo. Doctorow nails it:
Trademark exists to protect us, the public, from those who would fraudulently confuse their products with ones we're familiar with: in other words, when we crack open a can of Coke, we have the right to be sure that what's in the tin is the real deal, the pure Black Waters of American Imperialism, and not Crazy Joe's Discount Soda Beverage. […]
Which begs the question: Where's the confusion in Air Canada's case? What reasonable person, confronted with the petition at MiltonGottaGo.com, would assume that this was somehow a service offered by Air Canada, or would come to some harm through momentary disorientation? Indeed, Air Canada's position appears to be that the use of its marks identifies the petition's target too clearly.