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Thoughts on trademarks

Noted by on his .

I don’t think trademarks are, in principal, evil. But anything that has billions of dollars riding behind its ability to get twisted out of proportion will be ruined.

Trademarks are like a cross between a signature on an art piece, or a regulatory badge. They tell you where something’s from and who said it meets their standards, but are only relevant if the issuer doesn’t let others issue it. The trademark itself ideally isn’t much of a creative work, so managing it doesn’t stifle much creativity.

But then fictional characters became brands, and their likenesses started getting trademarked to create overlap with copyright; this formed the foundation of modern media franchises, and everything went to hell. This is part of why I’ve grown a wary of official brand mascots in general.