Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Canadian Artist Vs The Corporate Giant

David vs Goliath
This all began for me some years ago, when some of my friends and family seen commercials containing a diver flying in the sky. They promptly contacted me, informing me that "I seen your painting on TV." At first I was flattered and even vaguely amused . Time went by as such time does, and this person and that person including members of my family called me to inform me that they to had seen it here or there. Then in early 1993 I saw it for the first time in a Pepsi Clear commercial. I was stunned. My Earlier amusement and sense of flattery was crushed in an instant and replaced by a shattering sense of shock, outrage, and even a vague sense of fear. For this was an exact copy in that there was no sign of a diving board, no water to be seen , and they used the same swimming trunks and hair colour. Even the angle of and the way the legs and feet were positioned it was the same . The only difference was the diver or fliers body was a more popular, more streamlined physique.
I was devastated.I immediately contacted the Canada Council to verify the piece as to Canadian originality and copyright rights. I also contacted C.A.R.F.A.C. who suggested I contact the infringer, So I made an appointment to meet with Ian Tetro of currently at Pepsi Canada Toronto, Canada, only to be told that this is an international issue, the commercial had been made in the United States so I would have to deal with them. I then contacted Judy Simon, who represented Pepsi Cola at the time now at After she received a photo print of the original worked she agreed that it was an obvious copy, Apologized very nicely, and assured me that she would take care of this matter.
Unfortunately, that is not how it worked out . Judy Simon was released and no one else has taken care of this problem. In fact, Ian Tetro too was moved to Asia. What proceeded then was what one would consider to be a run around. For the first year I spent endless hours, at considerable expense to get to the bottom of this. I repeatedly contacted Pepsi and The ad Agency B.B.D.O in an effort to to get information and copies of the original video used in the making of the commercial. Instead of cooperation, both companies again and again put me off I wanted to deal with this issue , Not in the courts, but businessman to businessman, I had to enlist the aid of lawyers (at Added expense) to get any cooperation at all, though what cooperation there was little enough.
Pepsi was telling me that it was B.B.D.O.'s problem as they did the advertisement, and B.B.D.O Raymond (alias Skip) Mcgovern was claiming Pepsi was totally responsible as it was there ad and they OK'ed the advertisement. I was told that the inspiration for the commercial came from elsewhere and he suggested a Ban roll on ad and a sporting goods logo as the place of origin. Until I pointed out both of these images were copyrighted and aired after the Crystal Pepsi commercial was created. The images they provided held very little similarity's, none of them were of a man taking a courageous dive into an endless sky with no horizon or view of the world beyond,but showed such mundane sights as a swimmer diving into water.
B.B.D.O. front man I'll handle it Raymond (alias Skip) Macgovern

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Corporations Undermining Democracy

Briefing Document The Undermining of Democracy through the Legal Political System As you know today's situation in the markets . You recognise that corporations now rule the Governments. Here is an article I wrote in the beginning of my current ongoing situation with Pepsi and B.B.D.O. It is as true today as it was then.Corporations are now becoming enabled through their money and power to exploit all resources to their advantage. Including the copyright law. While it is widely that artist work is and has been protected by this law. But actually this law is so lax that it is simply disregarded. Stealing creative work is common place. Stealing creative work is considered "Honourable" among businessmen . As Quoted By Craig Weatherup of Pepsi Cola Inc. "The stealing of ideas is one of the most honourable things you can do." (Business Week Feb 1993)In theory, Canadians have been protected form such thievery under the Bern Convention since 1886. Americans made up their own the Universal Copyright Act ,Didn't want to join the bern. As of Nafta the US joined the Bern Convention.Unfortunately while these acts and laws are meant to protect Artists, writers musicians and those involved in the creative process .What we have today are big players who are able through their resources and power to sway governments to their point of views of what is right and wrong , as well what is ok to steal. Democracy itself has or could be undermined by such actions that ignore the people instead follow the dictates of the more powerful and wealthy corporations.1994