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Kangaroo Court - Aborigines Seek to Ground the Flying Kangaroo

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http://abcnews.go.com/sections/world/DailyNews/australia020208_kangaroo.html

"In a copyright claim currently ruffling feathers - and furs - across Australia, Kevin Buzzacott,
an Aboriginal elder, has claimed that Qantas cannot use the flying kangaroo as a mascot
without the permission of the marsupial's indigenous 'owners.'"

Submitters comment: This is total BS!

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.... Well THIS is bullshit! Hey all you kangaroo lovers out there, you can't have one for your persona because it would violate the Aborigones copyrights! And furry artists can't draw them, either! And while we're at it, you can't film them without permission! Disney better watch out, 'cause Kanga belongs to the Aborigones! And hey, you can't draw or represent pandas without China's permission! Bye-bye, Shanda! Or Lemurs without Madagascar's permission!

/HEAVY SARCASM

... and that's not even going into the logic of using purely Western concepts of intellectual ownership and copyright to claim something that would only hold water according to the ancient, non-Western Aborigone traditions (i.e. the concept of the eternal, unchanging dreamtime). Are you being Aborigone, or Western??? Anyone know the Aboriginal concepts of intellectual property, assuming there are/were any?

...Besides, you CAN'T claim copyright to something that is in prior existence. I can't claim copyright to oxygen, because it was there before me! Dreamtime nonwithstanding, kangaroos were in Australia before Aborigones. For one thing, we're placental mammals, which only evolved in the world at large AFTER Australia split off. I don't care how long Aborigones have been there, you can't beat THAT.

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You tell them!

I've seen signs that much the same thing might happen stateside -- the Native Americans are claiming that anyone who uses anything even remotely 'Indian' (symbology, religious reference, really just about anything) should be sued for their contribution to the Nazi-esque cultural holocaust. And since animal-people play a role in so many Native mythologies, and there seems to be this large group of artists out there who like drawing pics of them, well...

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Well, in the case of anthropomorphised animals, the native North Americans weren't the only ancient culture to make use of them. It's one of those themes that's present in practically every culture to some degree or another throughout the world's history...

Benjamin

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Sounds like they're going Maori....

The Moasri in New Zealand do this sorta thing on a semi-regular basis. Hell, a couple of years ago (or was it only one?)they tried to claim that they owned the electromagnetic spectrum. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Basically, they said that they were here first, and so basically owned the airwaves....

Something less drastic, from further back, was the (successful) claiming or Tribal Fishing Rights, including - and this is the fun part - trout and salmon, two species introduced by europeans!

Big difference between Maori and Aborigines on this front is, Maori have the Treaty of Waitangi under their belt, whereas the Aborigines have nothing. Can anyone guess at just how successful they'll be??

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Nearly as ridiculous is a current court case in which British Telecom claims to own a patent on the use of hyperlinks, such as those used on millions of web pages worldwide. So far (much to the relief of the rest of the world) the legal system has not upheld their claim. Unfortunately, there have been other cases where patents or other proprietary rights have been granted on computers or computer applications that are trivially obvious and/or already in widespread use.

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Reminds me of the way Palm, Inc. has been going after a bunch of people who have software or web pages with the word 'Palm' in the title. They own that word, apparently.

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