Wikimedia are the lovely people who gifted the world lots of free public internet resources like Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and Wikimedia Commons, a database of media contributed by anybody and everybody. Imagine my surprise when I searched Wikimedia Commons for images associated with espionage, and saw the old logo of everyone’s favourite Israeli assurance company…
Further investigation revealed that the image was added to the ‘espionage’ category by one of Wikimedia’s bots. Are Wikimedia’s clever bots programmed with intelligence that the rest of us should know about?
In case you have any doubts, I am allowed to reproduce this old logo, even though it is the copyright of cVidya, because they have licensed me, and everyone else, to do so. It seems the genius who uploaded the image file also gave it a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. In short, I can copy and adapt the image so long as I give credit to Dr. Gadi Solotorevsky, Chief Technical Officer of cVidya, and his fellow dimwits. That is a great advantage to me, because it means I can legally use cVidya’s logo when making fun of them, without having to rely on the more nebulous legal protections relating to fair use or parody. And because Gadi is the kind of person who likes to share other people’s intellectual property, he has licensed the new cVidya logo in the same way.
When I think of companies that spend a lot of time and money trying to promote a positive reputation, whilst doing lots of stupid things that simultaneously undermine that reputation, cVidya always comes to mind. Even if they do engage in espionage, they should be vigilant about how their name is used, for fear that negative associations will frighten customers. And whilst uploading logos to a resource like Wikimedia might seem a clever way to get free advertising, companies that claim expertise at assuring valuable content need to be thoughtful about safeguarding their own intellectual property. Creative Commons licenses are wonderful things, but anyone considering using one should remember a CC license can never be revoked.