It is not a joke that corporations
hijack the right to our own language

Nipawin - Saturday, December 15, 2001 - by: Mario deSantis


"Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts upon the unthinking"

--J.M. Keynes, Economist




Our governments have become representatives of big corporations and therefore they have created artificial rights on their behalf. We understand our human rights as coming from immemorial times (common law) and they evolved in our history. However, even though the corporations are our own invention, they have now more rights than people. We have developed our own language to understand each other and now we cannot speak our own language in our own communities because we can infringe in the rights of big corporations. It is absurd to have corporations hijacking our own language and it is more absurd that we are doing very little in trying to take our language back from big corporations.




I am going to refer to two funny examples on how the big corporations have taken over our own language. The first example was reported last Thursday in the newspaper The StarPhoenix. Jerry Kristian runs a fast food restaurant in Saskatoon and he had troubles naming his hamburgers as BACON MOZZA BURGER because he was told by the lawyers representing A&W that the word MOZZA was a trademark of their client. Further, these lawyers stated that


"we have also been asked to draw your attention to our client's well known trademark MAMMA BURGER... Your use of 1LB MEGA MAMA and MAMA KAHUNA is confusing with our client's trademark."



The second example is a little bit funnier and was mentioned by Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul when he gave a lecture in Australia in August 1999. Saul said that today's enforcement of copyrights by big corporations is just a way of preventing people in carrying on with their own business and he referred to the ridiculous lawsuit reported by Business Week where the makers of the 'Stealth condom' were embroiled in a legal fight with Northrop Corporations, the manufacturer of the 'Stealth bomber.'




Yes, we can take these examples of infringements of copyrights as jokes, but when we realize that the big corporations are the main cause for our decadent democracy then their hijacking of our own language is not a joke anymore.
  Mamma mia! Jerry's in trouble over burger names again, by Lori Coolican, December 13, 2001, The StarPhoenix, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  John Ralston Saul speaking on Citizenship vs the Reigning Linear Trap, Public Lecture 29 August 1999, The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, University of South Australia