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Environment groups have called on the energy giant AGL to drop its legal action against Greenpeace Australia Pacific, describing the federal court bid an “unnecessary attack on civil society”.
AGL launched legal action against the environment group this month, alleging the use of its logo in a campaign was copyright infringement. The Greenpeace campaign targets AGL as Australia’s biggest corporate emitter.
In a letter to AGL’s chief executive, Graeme Hunt, and the company’s board of directors, the groups said they were alarmed by the legal challenge.
The letter is signed by 11 organisations including the Australian Conservation Foundation, the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, Environment Victoria, Friends of the Earth and 350.org. It says:
We see this as a direct affront to free speech and the ability of our organisations to hold corporations to account on urgent climate action.
The ability to publicly call out corporations, businesses, governments and individuals that are standing in the way of this action, without fear of litigation or retribution, is key to this work.
We firmly believe that it is critical that charities, not for profits, comedians and members of the community retain the right to criticise, parody and satirise corporations using their logo without the threat of litigation.
AGL has previously said its legal action is not intended to stifle public debate and the company reserved the right to defend its brand under Australian law:
The legal application seeks to prevent unlawful use of our brand as part of a third party campaign and is not intended to silence the campaign itself.
Source: The Guardian
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