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 21 - 30 of 192

Page 3 of 20

McJagger

McDonald's still has the best french fries, even if the corporation is draconian in its treatment of the competition. Look at at Wal-Mart, they do they same. Someday our freedom of choice will be "do we go to McDonald's or Wal-Mart?" Look at how few music companies there are. Listen to the McRadio and all the McSongs sound like McCrap. We allowed it to happen because it was the McEasiest path to take. I can't get no satisfaction, but I try and I try.

McJagger

McDonald's still has the best french fries, even if the corporation is draconian in its treatment of the competition. Look at at Wal-Mart, they do they same. Someday our freedom of choice will be "do we go to McDonald's or Wal-Mart?" Look at how few music companies there are. Listen to the McRadio and all the McSongs sound like McCrap. We allowed it to happen because it was the McEasiest path to take. I can't get no satisfaction, but I try and I try.

McAnonymous

How exactly are they draconian? Do you have any examples? The story here isn't about competition it's about intellectual property rights and trademark infringement - different issue. Yes they do have great fries and their burgers are so-so, but the key to success in franchising is their business system. Their excellence in this area is what got them to where they are - not their "draconian" treatment of their competition. Goodness knows McCurry isn't a serious competitor (although if you look at pictures of the inside of the restaurant, it looks eerily like a McD's). ...and you know what? McDonald's success doesn't limit my choices - it's the fascist adbuster-types that want to limit people's choices. ...and if you think there's less choice out there for consumers than there were 40 years ago - you're an idiot. Nothing personal - just a fact.

McAnonymous

How exactly are they draconian? Do you have any examples? The story here isn't about competition it's about intellectual property rights and trademark infringement - different issue. Yes they do have great fries and their burgers are so-so, but the key to success in franchising is their business system. Their excellence in this area is what got them to where they are - not their "draconian" treatment of their competition. Goodness knows McCurry isn't a serious competitor (although if you look at pictures of the inside of the restaurant, it looks eerily like a McD's). ...and you know what? McDonald's success doesn't limit my choices - it's the fascist adbuster-types that want to limit people's choices. ...and if you think there's less choice out there for consumers than there were 40 years ago - you're an idiot. Nothing personal - just a fact.

McJagger

It is a classic David and Goliath story. McDonald's is the bully, period and that is an injustice. McCurry was no threat and they got trounced by an army of over paid lawyers. The outcome was just. There actually are fewer choices today than 40 years ago. 40 years ago the concept driving business was the ma and pop small business. They have almost all been driven out of business by the Sam's Clubs, Wal-Marts, and McDonald's who force manufacturers into awful deals (the Wal-Mart vs Tupperware action) in order to reduce prices to the buying public so the buying public will flock to their stores and not a ma and pop store. Fewer competing retail outlets equals fewer choices. We may have more products today than 40 years ago, but that is no the same as having more choices. Bigger businesses are not better, actually they are worse because they wield power beyond the retail sphere and into the courts and legislature. As far as being an idiot goes blindly following the propaganda generated by big businesses and defending that propaganda is not only idiotic, it is frightening because that sort of attack on a person who disagrees with your poor logic is exactly what Hitler and Stalin did, comrade.

McJagger

It is a classic David and Goliath story. McDonald's is the bully, period and that is an injustice. McCurry was no threat and they got trounced by an army of over paid lawyers. The outcome was just. There actually are fewer choices today than 40 years ago. 40 years ago the concept driving business was the ma and pop small business. They have almost all been driven out of business by the Sam's Clubs, Wal-Marts, and McDonald's who force manufacturers into awful deals (the Wal-Mart vs Tupperware action) in order to reduce prices to the buying public so the buying public will flock to their stores and not a ma and pop store. Fewer competing retail outlets equals fewer choices. We may have more products today than 40 years ago, but that is no the same as having more choices. Bigger businesses are not better, actually they are worse because they wield power beyond the retail sphere and into the courts and legislature. As far as being an idiot goes blindly following the propaganda generated by big businesses and defending that propaganda is not only idiotic, it is frightening because that sort of attack on a person who disagrees with your poor logic is exactly what Hitler and Stalin did, comrade.

McAnonymous

I love the speed with which the Hitler/Stalin references come on this site - always by people that don't know enough history to know that Hitler/Stalin/Mussolini/Wilson are the fathers of the left, and therefore the ideological ancestors of this website. This rag would have been popular reading amongst those monsters and their cabal. So your entire analysis comes down to "McDonald's is the bully, period?" Almost all small businesses have been driven out of business? Really? If you want to retract that after doing some cursory research I would say "fair enough." If you stand by it - that, would be idiotic. Stats from virtually any country show small businesses make up the vast majority of companies (99% Globally by number), represent a huge swath of the economy (50% Globally) which is growing faster than the large business segment. Small businesses are also employing a larger proportion of the workforce today than 20 years ago (81.6% today vs 79.1% in 1988). To infer, therefore, that you have less choices because small businesses are disappearing would be counter to fact and logic. Those are stats, not propaganda. I am a very patient person but I don't have patience for someone spouting off on a subject of which they are ignorant. I also have no tolerance for lies (or the liars who tell them). I'm afraid this site is rife with both.

McAnonymous

I love the speed with which the Hitler/Stalin references come on this site - always by people that don't know enough history to know that Hitler/Stalin/Mussolini/Wilson are the fathers of the left, and therefore the ideological ancestors of this website. This rag would have been popular reading amongst those monsters and their cabal. So your entire analysis comes down to "McDonald's is the bully, period?" Almost all small businesses have been driven out of business? Really? If you want to retract that after doing some cursory research I would say "fair enough." If you stand by it - that, would be idiotic. Stats from virtually any country show small businesses make up the vast majority of companies (99% Globally by number), represent a huge swath of the economy (50% Globally) which is growing faster than the large business segment. Small businesses are also employing a larger proportion of the workforce today than 20 years ago (81.6% today vs 79.1% in 1988). To infer, therefore, that you have less choices because small businesses are disappearing would be counter to fact and logic. Those are stats, not propaganda. I am a very patient person but I don't have patience for someone spouting off on a subject of which they are ignorant. I also have no tolerance for lies (or the liars who tell them). I'm afraid this site is rife with both.

Anonymous

The above paragraphs will eventually disappear from history, pay them no attention, as the information presented in the argument is completely useless - not because it was not based in fact, but because it truly is pointless to discuss.

Anonymous

The above paragraphs will eventually disappear from history, pay them no attention, as the information presented in the argument is completely useless - not because it was not based in fact, but because it truly is pointless to discuss.

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