Rogue Magazine Top Stories Of Course Post Cereal Is Bullying an Indie Band — It’s the Corporate Way

Of Course Post Cereal Is Bullying an Indie Band — It’s the Corporate Way

Are you ready for the next big example of corporate greed trampling on everybody else? This week’s shocking-not-shocking story is brought to you by — wait for it — a cereal company. Yep, Post cereal company decided this week that one of its top priorities is to sue indie band OK Go in federal court.

Color everyone surprised that corporate bad guys aren’t limited to tech monstrosities and gaming juggernauts that get to rake in record profits every year while also laying off thousands. Post Cereal wants some of that action, too.

David Versus Goliath in a Cereal Cup

You’re going to love this. The lawsuit from Post happened because the cereal giant decided to create an entire brand called OK Go! and then apply for a trademark on it so no one else can use it.

The rock band found out and promptly sent a cease and desist to Post, basically the legal version of saying, “Hey, bro, just a heads-up, but you’re using a name that’s already taken.”

This is the part where Post says, “whoops, our bad,” right? Nope. Instead, the 5.7 billion dollar company decided the smartest course of action was to take the four-man indie band to federal court and try to steal its name.

OK Go gave a statement to Billboard, saying: “[It] was an unwelcome surprise, to say the least. But then they sue us about it?”

What’s at Stake for Indie Artists Everywhere

There are three reasons why Post’s actions are a big deal, not just for OK Go, but for all creative professions in the United States:

1. The Band Is Legally Obligated To Defend Its Name

Trademark laws in the U.S. are strangely similar to “finders keepers.” As soon as you find out that someone is using your trademark, you have to notify the offender immediately. By sending a cease and desist letter, OK Go was protecting its intellectual property.

2. Post Is Stealing a Protected Trademark With Strong-Arm Tactics

This technique of purposely infringing protected names and suing the original owners isn’t new. Post hopes that the band will give up instead of going through a costly trial. It’s essentially “legal” theft. The cereal brand is no stranger to courtroom antics, having recently settled a $15 million claim for false advertising.

3. Corporations Are Getting Into the Habit of Trampling on Individual Rights Like Nothing

If you’ve been following the whole AI generator tech controversy, you can see the same trend. Huge corporations believe they have the right to take private content from artists, writers, programmers and small business owners, without paying a dime, and use it to make billions of dollars. Post didn’t even try to offer a token sum to the band to use its name.

Major Fan Support for OK Go

In the past, mega-corps got away with this type of bullying largely under the radar, but social media is changing things. Consumers have more power than they think. For example, gamer outrage stood up to crypto nonsense in video games on a big scale.

It’s time to do the same thing for indie artists like OK Go. Post never imagined what it was unleashing. You don’t mess with the music.

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