Anyone who knows me know that I own three iterations of this particular meme. A wall hanging, a laptop sticker, and a mug. None of these items have been produced by the same comany. The design has, by public consensus become open-source. But unfortunately some hack has decided that because he had been in on this since 2007 – he owned the rights. Yeah. No. Well he’s filed with the EU and has started sending cease and desist letters to various users of the meme.
The originators of the meme – the souls who found the discarded poster at a bottom of a box – they have no desire to trade mark what is – fundamentally – Crown, and therefore public, property. I realize that my interpretation of “Crown” and “Public” flies in the face of the mainstream interpretation of the meaning of Crown Property. However, the Crown claims to hold all unowned land in trust for the good of the public. I see no conflict in considering the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster similarly protected by the same type of stewardship. Anyhow, the rest of the story is The Awl. Go get it.