In the past I have called Labour and the Internet Party on their questionable use of other organisations intellectual property. Well it looks like some organisations still haven’t learnt. This morning the Taxpayers Union released a report on the government’s “corporate welfare” policies. They sent three tweets:
Now I will ignore the incorrect tense in the last tweet they sent. What I want to talk about is the graphics they use in the report. On the cover, and throughout the report, there are a number of uses of the Monopoly Man. He is a trademark of Hasbro, who produce the Monopoly game. The cover of the report was:
Inside there are a number of other uses of him as well:
So the Taxpayers Union have used the Monopoly Man, which is trademarked to Hasbro. That is beyond question. The question is did they get permission to do so? I contacted Hasbro in Australia. I asked if the Taxpayers Union had sought permission from Hasbro to use the Monopoly Man. I received a reply stating that Hasbro Australia have no record of a request to use the Monopoly Man from the Taxpayers Union. (I am waiting on confirmation that I can post the email in full will update).
However Jordan Williams says they have been advised that there is enough change for there not to be an issue.
However looking at the results of a google image search for “Monopoly Man” their one looks pretty similar. Their use of the “Chance” and “Community Chest” cards is also obviously trying to leverage off the Monopoly brand. .
The Taxpayers Union’s “what we stand for” page says the following:
They talk about wanting the government to spend money “as if they’d worked as hard as the taxpayers who earned it”. Would this be the money that Hasbro earned from licensing the Taxpayers Union to use their trademarked property?
It is not a good look for an organisation that claims to stand up for the rights of taxpayers to be trying to use the intellectual property of some of those tax payers without permission of compensation. I can kind of understand how it might slip through in a political party organisation during a campaign. But in an organisation, like the Taxpayers Union, that is run by a lawyer, Jordan Williams, I find it hard to believe that someone didn’t think there would be intellectual property issues with using something as iconic as the Monopoly Man.