Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Theft legal in Australia

Nothing like a walk around a fruit market - pinching a ripe juicy grape to see if it warrants a spot in the shopping bag.

In some places pinching that grape might result in the loss of a hand or 2!

Not in Australia where we're a little more lenient  - in fact we're reaching the stage that theft is legal!

I see this through our experience with the Racing Australia name saga.

Now it is common knowledge in racing that the Australian Racing Board, RISA and the Stud Book changed their names to the broader Racing Australia. That's fine.

The fact that we have been operating our little slice of racing under that name for the last 16 years is a mere coincidence according to them.

Now most big mobs when they claim a name like to trade mark it - it makes a bob or two for government and gives the owner rights when it comes to others copying or replicating the words or logo.

We didn't have it trade marked - usually you want to be deriving a fair income to warrant such a step.

We promote because of our passion for racing - not money.

So for 17 years we've gone along in our own way - promoting racing, running syndicates, photographing and generally trying to help people in their enjoyment of racing through social media.

We are happy to say we have met hundreds of great people from around Australia and the world because of our social media - which even pre-dates the popular Facebook and Twiiter phenomenons.

So, along comes the big bad bully of The Australian Racing Board - "we'll take that name" they boom. Among other things like the Rules of Racing the Australian Racing Board manage the re-use of horse names. They have a massive computer system to ensure duplications don't occur - or occur in accordance with the Rules. Their duty of care doesn't extend to business names. Here, they had no compunction in checking.

Which is a shame for they would have found that we have been clients of theirs for more than 10 years registering our Racing Australia syndicates in good faith with them - for a decent fee, of course.

So this week, we take on the bullies - in a David and Goliath act to prevent them from trade marking the name - which would likely see them do all they can to prevent us from using it in future.

It's a tough battle - we don't have money for lawyers or even to go and fight the battle in person.

If IP Australia hand them the victory then they will have condoned theft - validated the bad behavior and sent these thieves a message that theft is legal in Australia.

Importantly, however, all thieves hands will stay attached to their wrists.

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