Adbusters

McCarriage of Justice

How many strikes should a corporation be allowed before we, the public, revoke their charter?

Fast food giant McDonald’s has just been handed a stunning defeat by a Malaysian high court in an epic trademark dispute. The ruling ended an eight-year battle in which the megacorporation attempted to prevent a small curry restaurant from using the prefix “Mc” in its name. McCurry (which stands for “Malaysian Chicken Curry”) argued that it had every right to use the two consonants and that McDonald’s claim that the two restaurants could be confused was unfounded. McCurry offers an Indian menu (including, among other things, fish head curry) while McDonald’s sticks to arguably less palatable “Western” fare. In addition to granting McCurry the rights to the disputed prefix, the court ordered McDonald’s to pay all legal costs incurred by the defendant. McDonald’s has a history of attacking anyone who dares string the two letters together: the company has previously brought legal action against a curry restaurant in Jamaica and the Oxford English Dictionary for listing the definition of “McJob.” Hopefully having its McAss handed to it by Malaysia’s highest court will end the corporation’s global monopoly on the two letters, allowing small business owners and a good part of Scotland to breathe easy.

But what can we do to prevent bullying megacorporations from treating the world like one giant school yard? For every Malaysian McCurry there are untold numbers of little guys slain by corporate Goliaths. For every staggering judgment (like Pfizer’s recent $2.3 billion settlement with the FDA) there are a slew of shady backroom deals in which corporations make a mint at the public’s expense. How many strikes should a corporation be allowed before we, the public, are allowed to revoke their charter? What are some effective ways for civil society to fight back against corporate power?

Sarah Nardi

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192 comments on the article “McCarriage of Justice”

Displaying 1 - 10 of 192

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guy d.

Revoking the charters of corporations who break the public trust used to be standard practice long ago, but not a single corporate charter has been revoked for over 100 years. Let's make it standard practice again, starting with Pfizer?

guy d.

Revoking the charters of corporations who break the public trust used to be standard practice long ago, but not a single corporate charter has been revoked for over 100 years. Let's make it standard practice again, starting with Pfizer?

McAnonymous

How, in any way is this stunning? Epic? Slightly desperate, Sarah. This will, in no material way whatsoever impact McDonald's. Wouldn't you say it's in McDonald's best interest to attempt to defend it's trademark which it has spent millions of dollars to develop? Do you honestly think that Adbusters wouldn't attempt to defend the brand that they've developed? Wouldn't it be adbusters dream to leverage their work (such as it is) into a global phenomenon and reach more than just 65,000 people? Isn't their goal also to improve and expand? So why is that form of success so evil for a company that has clearly done a better job of it than adbusters (or, obstensibly, anyone else)? ...and you think that this court case will in any way affect McCurry's ability to market itself? Yes, epic indeed. "Slain by corporate Goliaths." ?? Could you possibly get more emotional, irrational or - ironically - Biblical? Didn't your 7th grade english teacher tell you about hyperbole and it's misuse? By the way, you are not the "public" nor do you represent the public. For your education, there are courts of law should you have a legal case against any corporation - regardless of its size - and should your case have more merits than a case of "bullying" you are likely to win.

McAnonymous

How, in any way is this stunning? Epic? Slightly desperate, Sarah. This will, in no material way whatsoever impact McDonald's. Wouldn't you say it's in McDonald's best interest to attempt to defend it's trademark which it has spent millions of dollars to develop? Do you honestly think that Adbusters wouldn't attempt to defend the brand that they've developed? Wouldn't it be adbusters dream to leverage their work (such as it is) into a global phenomenon and reach more than just 65,000 people? Isn't their goal also to improve and expand? So why is that form of success so evil for a company that has clearly done a better job of it than adbusters (or, obstensibly, anyone else)? ...and you think that this court case will in any way affect McCurry's ability to market itself? Yes, epic indeed. "Slain by corporate Goliaths." ?? Could you possibly get more emotional, irrational or - ironically - Biblical? Didn't your 7th grade english teacher tell you about hyperbole and it's misuse? By the way, you are not the "public" nor do you represent the public. For your education, there are courts of law should you have a legal case against any corporation - regardless of its size - and should your case have more merits than a case of "bullying" you are likely to win.

Anonymous

Check your facts mate, I wouldn't be so quick to side with McDonalds - for any reason. There is food, and then theres excessive, ever increasingly unhealthy food consumption. If you are advocating McDonalds you are saying ok to this, that it is ok to genetically modify nature ( along with destroying it) to make it work to your needs. That company may have been a good one in maybe the 50s but now with mass production/agriculture it has turned into, like so many of its competitors: a groteque monster. The Point of Adbusters to discover the true nature or the world; what really makes it tick and reveal it to the public. I am sure that if there was a competent company that had a name that resembled "Adbusters" they would do their best to come to a comprise. - Not like McDonalds.

Anonymous

Check your facts mate, I wouldn't be so quick to side with McDonalds - for any reason. There is food, and then theres excessive, ever increasingly unhealthy food consumption. If you are advocating McDonalds you are saying ok to this, that it is ok to genetically modify nature ( along with destroying it) to make it work to your needs. That company may have been a good one in maybe the 50s but now with mass production/agriculture it has turned into, like so many of its competitors: a groteque monster. The Point of Adbusters to discover the true nature or the world; what really makes it tick and reveal it to the public. I am sure that if there was a competent company that had a name that resembled "Adbusters" they would do their best to come to a comprise. - Not like McDonalds.

Anonymous

McDonald's is the plague. They make people in 119 countries fat, unhappy, underpaid, unhealthy and infertile. The people who run it, are either evil or ignorant.

Neither evil, nor ignorant people should have that kind of power.

Anonymous

McDonald's is the plague. They make people in 119 countries fat, unhappy, underpaid, unhealthy and infertile. The people who run it, are either evil or ignorant.

Neither evil, nor ignorant people should have that kind of power.

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