Friday, June 8, 2012

Mark Coop - A Vile Wanker!

I have a story to share with you all, and I hope it will leave you feeling as outraged as I currently am!! To tell a story properly, you must, of course, begin at the beginning...So grab a cup of something nice and watch this lovely video:
How awesome is that??? I'll tell you one thing, I WILL be visiting this lovely bookshop one day. Oh yes, you may depend upon it!! And I'll have my photo taken standing by this original WWII poster, this piece of important English history.

So the Manley's found this incredible piece of English war-time history on the bottom of a box of books they'd purchased at auction. They loved it so much that they framed it and hung it up in their book shop, where it was admired by everyone who visited. Many people asked to purchase it, not a chance!, and interest grew. Mr. Manley thought perhaps they should sell copies of it, but first checked to see if that was even lawful.

The poster had been made by the Ministry of Information, a part of the English government. The King George VI crown was also used, which carries a royal copyright. Both copyrights carried a 50 year term, and were not renewed. So this poster entered the Public Domain in 1989 (1939 + 50 years). So when the Manley's discovered theirs, it was already in the Public Domain. They started making copies in 2001 and started with 500. To date they have sold over 100,000!!!! They've also made coffee mugs and other items with this iconic phrase. I think it's also important that they charged very little for their posters. It was just a bit over their cost; enough to make a profit of course, but hardly to become wealthy.

Also, in their hunt to find out about the legality of making copies of their find, they searched to find out more about how the poster came to be. They found Dr. Bex Louis, who had done her doctoral dissertation on this very poster! With her permission, a part of this was included on the Manley's bookshop website to inform their customers interested in purchasing the Keep Calm products.

News of this incredible poster started generating great interest, and received attention from newspapers, magazines and television! Soon people all over the world were crazy for "Keep Calm", and it started appearing everywhere, and on everything. The Manleys never considered copy righting the phrase. It was an important part of their country's history and culture, and they felt it belonged to everyone. They weren't looking to "cash in" on such a dark period in their country's history!

Soon everyone seemingly had jumped on the bandwagon, and not only does the original text appear, but some rather ingenious parodies!!! It's great fun and nearly everyone loves it. And some people are even making some great money with it too! Win/Win!

Enter Mark Coop. (blech!)

An ex television producer, he sensed the possibility of money to be made. A lot of money. And if he had left it at that, I would be OK with it, but he didn't. This guy had the gall to order a copy of this poster from the Manley's, delete their bookshop logo which was on it, and sell it himself. OK. Lots of other people had done the same thing themselves. BUT! Then Mr. Copycat Coop (which rhymes with Poop!) decides he wants to be the ONLY COPYCAT! So he applies for a trade mark in the UK. He's denied. It's Public Domain and it's already a commonly used phrase. How sad, too bad. Not to be thwarted in his nefarious money-making scheme, he applies to the EU (European Union) for a trade mark, which he's successful in obtaining.

Let's pause for just a moment here. This was originally copy righted and originated in England, by the British government with a royal copy right. It's a part of English history and culture. AND THE UK TOLD HIM NO!!!! So he goes outside the country to do it anyway!!! The EU has no jurisdiction on this matter, so in actuality, his "trade mark" is not only illegal, it's completely invalid!! (Of course, the ethics and morality issues are completely trampled as well!) Which has not stopped him from going after every other seller of "Keep Calm" goods. Every seller, everywhere. This includes the Manley's who discovered the original poster to begin with and sold Mr. Coop his copy!!!! He's even had eBay remove listings with "his" phrase on it!!

So he's taken his copy, purchased from the Manley's bookshop, made a little business of his own and is now attempting to prevent anyone else from doing it too. To include the owners of the ORIGINAL poster! It should also be mentioned that he took Dr. Louis' dissertation for his website, without her permission or acknowledgement. AND he word-for-word copied another online vendor's website's design, layout and verbage! To include three spelling mistakes that were originally on it!!!

Mr. Coop - YOU'RE A LIAR 

Are you upset yet?? Wishing there was something you could do to stop this clown?? Well you CAN! And I really hope you will!!! Please join the Keep Calm and Carry On Campaign! There you can sign the e-petition to help overturn Mr. Coop's trade mark in the EU, and prevent him from applying for it anywhere else too!! Please stand up for what is right!!!! Also, there are many links provided, showing the press coverage this has generated across the world, and updates on the legal battle currently in progress. A monopoly on history is shameful!!!!!

Although his (illegal!) trade mark is only (in)valid in the EU, that has not stopped him from "protecting his rights" across the globe. Which is how I found out about this issue to begin with. You see this stamp set:
2012-2013 Hostess Set: Carry On part of the brand new Stampin Up catalog! I was able to get my copy during the pre-order time frame in May. Normally I don't pay for these "free" sets, because I can easily earn them with my regular purchases. But I just had-to-have-it ASAP!!!! And now I'm especially glad I did, because in an effort to avoid the possibility of nasty and expensive legal troubles from Mr. Coop, Stampin Up has removed this set until further notice. Which means many, many Demos did not get this set, and no customers will be able to either! Excuse me, but I wanna Keep Calm and Stamp On, thank you very much!!!! Demos in England, who had seen our set, were chomping at the bit hoping it would be included in their new catalog this fall. Now their hopes, along with ours, have been dashed. This is just so wrong!!!

Please help!!!! I will post more updates on this as they occur. Hopefully very soon, I will be able to post that we have won the day!!!!

Edited to add: If you would like to write to this man his address is:

Keep Calm and Carry On Ltd.
Attn: Mr. Mark Coop (or Poop!)
14-15 The Annexe
Investment House
28 Queens Road
KT13 9UT


Emily said...

Go Jeannie....

How the man has the brass neck to call himself English is beyond me. He is NOT an example of our countrymen and I cant wait untill his downfall...

Bloggy Hugs

Mary Cavalier said...

Jeannie - thanks for sharing that. I saw that the stamp set was no longer available but did not know the whole story. How can someone take something that is public domain and trademark it - so ridiculous!

Mary said...

Unbelievable. Just un-freakin'-believable. I signed the petition, and put a post on fb.


What an unbelievable story. I cannot image that that can be done. I agree...Mark Coop is a poop.

SueAnn Lommler said...

That I too feel outrage is an understatement!!'

Christina said...

This guy needs his head examined and needs to have it beaten in him that he only got it from it being PUBLIC and he altered the image to fit his needs. JERKFACE!

Paloma said...

That is just outrageous! I can't believe it! horrible!

Rita said...

He's a real jerk, true. But even moreso--what the hell is with the EU??!!! I'd be even more down their throats. He's just a greedy fool, but he couldn't get away with this at all if not for the EU--and if the EU has no rights here, as you said, then they should be put in their place even moreso than the greedy jerk!!

Catherine said...

I'm a huge fan of the Keep Calm posters and its many spin-offs but now I'm completely turned off from buying them. I don't want to accidentally give this idiot my money. Meh!

chris said...

Wow. Some of this is true but not all of it, and hurling insults at a bloke who you think you know about is rather unBritish too. Mark is a mate of mine and never had any intention of seizing or claiming this slogan to be his own. He is also not the only person running a legitimate business which markets products based on this slogan. The whole story is somewhat different to the one presented here. He has applied the trademark where traders have been copying his products, and although you may believe he is the copier here (which he does not deny), he has certainly not closed down or sought to close down every other trader. Trademarks are everywhere on all sorts of 'public domain' stuff. So, hurling abuse is unnecessary. You ask for people to comment on your blog in a respectful manner but your own post is nothing of the sort.

Queenie Jeannie said...

TO CHRIS - Well I suggest you talk to your "friend" (or yourself). What he's done has been in the public eye, and now everyone knows the facts. If he's suffering for his actions - then GOOD! He's needlessly hurting a lot of people, for sheer greed. I stand behind my words; too bad you hide behind a computer screen!!!

AliceKay said...

This just goes to show what people will do to make a buck. So sad. :( I hope his trademark is overturned.

Traci Tracy said...

I just posted a link on my blog to your post here. Wanted to get the word out as I am outraged as you are. Thank you for posting. Hope it was okay to post the link. If not, let me know and I will remove it. :)

Erika Trowell said...

Maybe I will trademark "Mark Coop is a Greedy Jerk" print it on pillows, hats, shirts, buttons and pencils and give them away. his name will be forever synonymous with a-hole.

Carole said...

Well said my lovely friend. Petition has been duly signed by ALL my family :)

What an arse he is !

Miss you xxxxxxxxx Cal xxxxxxx

Heatherlyn said...

The way that people can abuse the legal system is highlighted by Mr. Coop's actions. RIDICULOUS!