The State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) Solid Energy is under serious risk of losing more public support around the country by continuing to attack people who protest against it, says Greens Conservation Spokesperson Metiria Turei.
A High Court decision has granted an interim order and directed anti-mining campaigner Frances Mountier to remove Solid Energy's trademark and copyright material, including the Solid Energy logo, from the cover of a faked document labelled as the company's 2006 environmental report.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This issue has similarities to the anti-satire rules Parliament tried to introduce and which the Green Party took a strong public stance against,Ã¢â‚¬Â Ms Turei says. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Solid Energy will soon find out, as MPs did, that in trying to prevent satire, the SOE will merely invite more.Ã¢â‚¬Â
In his verbal decision today, Judge Chisholm acknowledged that Solid Energy was seeking to protect its property right in relation to its trademarks and copyright. It was not seeking to "muzzle the defendant's own expression of her views".
Solid Energy Dr Don Elder has said in a statement: "This hearing was about the company's absolute right to protect its trademarks and its intellectual property - we would have pursued such an action regardless of who had been responsible for the copyright and trademark infringements."
However this will not be how the firmÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heavy-handed approach will be generally regarded, Ms Turei says, given the original action against the defendants included defamation and injurious falsehood.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The country would be better off if Solid Energy profits were put into promoting long-term alternatives to coal rather than into spying on protestors and for law firms. At present the SOE seems determined to dig a hole for itself in its public relations stance.Ã¢â‚¬Â