If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years. –Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)
Years ago I knew a head general counsel who worked for a legal department for a rather large corporation.
When it came to lawsuits, he explained to me that their approach was they ‘never settled’ and ‘would use all of our resources – millions of dollars at our disposal’ to fight any suit that came in. Whether they were right or wrong. “If they’re going to go up against us, that’s what they’re going to get.’
Years later I sat in on a ‘business ethics’ class where this ethic was explained in detail: ‘it is okay to destroy the competition. That’s good business ethics.’ And throw in that businesses today operate to ‘keep shareholders happy’ over everything else – we live in a very frightening world. One that squashes innovation and creativity in favor of ‘good competition.’
Good competition is fantastic – when the tables are ‘fair and balanced,’ a term – even today – that’s not used for what it actually means. There’s a lot we CAN be doing as a race – in terms of social, political and humanitarian causes – but we don’t. There’s a great scene in An Inconvenient Truth where Al Gore points to an illustration of a pot of gold. It’s our motivation. It’s what we live for. A pot of gold. A shiny pot of gold we can hide from others, shower with, rub on our bodies if it makes us feel better.
Right now there’s a David v. Goliath lawsuit going on. It seems simple open and shut: Large corporations profit from stolen artwork. So artists who created artwork get a lawyer and take on the corporations.
In this situation, the corporations are our darlings: The fantastically wonderful Disney and the ‘god I love what they do for design’ Target. And I spent an afternoon recently going thru the case files – which are posted at Friends of Modern Dog – and to me it seems it’s another bury the little guy response.
Ashamed is not a word I use much. Though I think it applies here: BOTH Disney and Target should be ashamed. They are BOTH corporations that benefit from creative innovation. BOTH should be working WITH Modern Dog, not – as this lawsuit seems to be doing – putting them out of business . . . [Read more →]