Fibre Fashion reports that South Africa's Constitutional Court ruled last Friday that T-shirt maker Laugh It Off was entitled to use the slogans "Black Labour" and "White Guilt" on politically provocative T-shirts that were a parody of the well known BLACK LABEL trade mark for beer. This use was an exercise of Laugh It Off's freedom of speech and did not constitute a use in a trade mark sense. Nor, ruled Justice Dikgang Moseneke, was there any infringement of copyright when SAB Miller's beer slogan

"America's lusty, lively beer, Carling Black Label beer, enjoyed by men around the world"
was replaced by
"Black Labour White Guilt, Africa's lusty lively exploitation since 1652, no regard given worldwide".
Laugh It Off are now planning an online auction of about 1,000 Black Labour T-shirts, the proceeds of which will go to an anti-alcohol abuse charity.

The IPKat is pleased with this decision for two reasons. First, it seems correct on the facts. Secondly, it sends out a message to brand owners that infringement litigation is rarely the best way to combat activity of this nature. By suing, SAB Miller has drawn the attention of people all over the world to the offending (and to many, offensive) words, when it could have taken a more positive stance, showing that it can take a joke even if it doesn't find it funny, and letting the whole thing blow discreetly over.

More Black Labels here , here, here and here
BLACK LABOUR WITHOUT THE GUILT BLACK LABOUR WITHOUT THE GUILT Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. A friend just showed me this neat website full of christian joke
    I cant believe the quantity an quality of humerous christian joke it contains
    Heres one of the jokes i found on it:
    Bob brought some friends home to his apartment one night after they had been out painting the town. One friend noticed a big brass gong in Bobs bedroom and asked about it."Thats not a gong" Bob replied "thats a talking clock. Watch this!"
    Bob struck the gong and sure enough a voice on the other side of the wall screamed "Hey your jerk its 3 o'clock in the morning!"


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