No Logo

The leading scorer of the Arkansas State men's basketball team is sitting out because he refuses to wear adidas shoes, which Indians players are obligated to wear as part of a school contract.


What is dangerous in this scenario, however, is that we currently have very little control over the evolution of [the language of logos]. Copyright and trademark law essentially prevent us, via the threat of (legal) force, from attaching any meaning of our own to a particular logo. This is radically different from the usual evolution of a language through common usage of words and phrases; what was once a public good has reversed into a medium of private ownership.

In this case, Jerry Nichols wasn't even trying to attach his own meaning to the adidas logo. Rather, he was asking for the right not to speak — that is, not to communicate the controlled adidas language with his extended skin. And for health reasons, no less.


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