According to the AP, "Hillary Rodham Clinton accused presidential rival Barack Obama of political plagiarism Thursday night, but drew boos from a Democratic debate audience when she ridiculed him as the candidate of 'change you can Xerox.'"
One of my best client contacts ever trained me to refer to the photocopier as just that. Well-intended patent lawyers drive marketers to preserve their trademarked brand names...with mixed results.
We push marketers to give up control of the message. If this evangelism were a song, might I recommend remaking this 70's ditty?
Put your brand in the hand of the man that buys your product
Put your brand in the hand of the man who spends money
Take a look at yourself and you can look at customers differently
By puttin' your brand in the hand of the man who'll promote for free.
Yeah, I'm going to marketing hell.
My point is that handing over control is not an all or nothing proposition. And before we, er, crucify a company that does not stop, drop and roll over we should stop to consider if that company is driven by legal, engineering or marketing. There is a bigger picture to companies than the pixels marketing pulls together.