Write Lightning is a blog from writer Deb Thompson.
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Fri, Aug 19 2005

Unauthorized Furniture And Other Home Decor Problems

The use of one company's boxes as furniture has resulted in a bit of trouble for at least one person. This showed me a growing dilemna. On one hand, we have companies that go so far as to promote creative use of their products and even showcase that use on their own web site, which is what happened with Duck Products. On the other hand, it seems that we have other companies wishing to exercise quite a bit of control over the use of their products and name.

To further complicate things, I know of at least one taxpayer-supported agency that provides a product which clearly forbids its use as anything other than shipping material. But I also know that there are quite a few crafters using it creatively in ways not sanctioned by the agency. And some have proudly presented pictures of their creations online.

This all gets into some pretty complicated legal issues, none of which I'm qualified to take on. I did note with amusement that, in the case of the company whose boxes were being used to make furniture, someone from a rival company suggested to the rogue furniture builder that its own boxes were much more colorful and would make far superior decorative pieces. Some people do have a knack for turning anything into a marketing program.

When in doubt, I suppose the best thing to do is ask before making making use of a company's products in a public way. But it's getting harder and harder as our lives become so full of products. I sometimes place the likeness of a cartoon character on my desk as my web cam runs. I guess I could be in trouble for showing his little green body that way. It does all get pretty wearying when you have to second-guess every bit of fun you want to have, doesn't it? I do long for a world where we seek to boost one another up instead of tear one another down, and where we all seek first to presume that boosting was the intention before we start attaching negative motives to others in a haste to prove our own self-worth, be it legal or personal.

posted at: 12:03 | category: /Miscellaneous | link to this entry

Getting Creative With Cans

Call your engineer and architect friends, clean out the cupboards and build some art. Canstruction is using friendly competition and cans to put more fun into food drives. A tug on the Stetson brim goes to lonita.net for the link.

posted at: 07:09 | category: /Food | link to this entry

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Stealin' copy is as bad as horse-thievin'
and cattle rustlin'! Lightning may strike
such varmints when they least expect it!