I am just writing this brief note to express my disappointment at the Red Cross's recent decision to spend donated dollars to harass companies using red crosses in various media to represent health or healing. I have a vested interest in this decision on your part because I design video games in my spare time. Beyond that however, as someone who has donated to the Red Cross in the past I find it very disturbing that my money may not have gone towards helping someone, and instead may have padded the wallet of a lawyer to further the unnecessary and ultimately self-defeating bulling the Red Cross is now choosing to pursue.
Rest assured that should this policy go unchanged I will certainly not be contributing to the Red Cross again in the future. Given the volume of negative press this decision is attracting I am sure I am not alone in this decision.
You may want to send your polite feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the fact...
Except that...2006.02.13 08:55am
It's only fair to post in addendum that I have thought of a really good reason for them to be doing this, and I wish I hadn't. If the cross does fall into the public domain there may be no recourse for the Red Cross should other crooked organizations posing as charities choose to use their logo. Of course, that isn't the reason they're giving for doing this, and it seems that any organization sufficiently posing to be the Red Cross as to confuse people are likely breaking lots of other laws already. There seems to be some acknowledgement of such, which can be found in this Globe and Mail article, but I think the real reason is still best shown in this moral projection:
The fact that the Red Cross is also used in videos which contain strong language and violence is also of concern to us in that they directly conflict with the basic humanitarian principles espoused by the Red Cross movement
-- David Pratt
That's still just dumb. But anyway, the above is an admission that I might be talking out of my ass.
bOING bOING, while a perfectly legitimate personal blog, hardly constitutes a hard-edged citizen watchdog news feed: I couldn't find any contact info, nor any "About" page that most respectable bloggers now have to allow for open, honest discussion of ideas. I had to dig deep to find out anything at all about who/what bOING bOING is and I had to go off-site to do that. Both the original article and its follow-up fail to provide linking back to the original news story - for all we know, it could have come out of their ass. The only link was to an amateur gamer site (<a target="_blank" href="http://www.igniq.com/2006/02/canadian-red-cross-wants-its-logo-out.html">Igniq</a>) which itself was just a news feed.
Ignit, however, quotes the Vancouver Sun. So I checked it out. After doing a search string on "red cross" I came up with a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.canada.com/findit/search/site/index.html?q=red%20cross">couple of articles</a> on the canada.com network. Let me just point out here that I'm not suggesting that CanWest is the best source of news... but the Vancouver Sun is part of Canada.com.
The <a target="_blank" href="http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=388d6b05-1e55-4fc6-8f73-6e822e3db23f&k=18344">articles</a> in the are far less negative than bOING bOING, Ignit, or any of the commenters. I proceeded to check out what the Red Cross actually had to say about it too. I downloaded the <a target="_blank" href="http://redcross.ca/article.asp?id=000340&tid=019">Red Cross emblem brochure</a>. Again, it's respectful, honest, and simply wants to protect its rights.
This is a classic case of something simple getting out of hand by, let's face it, nothing more than shit disturbers. This is creating news instead of reporting the news.