The event planned for October formerly known as “the Radical Media Conference” has been forced to change its name after being subjected to legal threats by an international PR and production company calling itself “Radical Media”. There will be a protest against this corporate bullying on 3 May.
On 5 April, as the conference organising group began pulling together suggestions for workshops, Peace News (which initiated the event) was surprised to receive an email from Joan Aceste, lawyer for @radical.media, a New York-based “transmedia” company. None of the organisers had ever heard of @radical.media (AKA “Radical Media”) before.
We were astonished to discover that the company had trademarked the phrase “radical media” under EU law, and were threatening to sue us if we continued to use the term. The legal advice we received was that the best case scenario was that we could spend £200,000 defending our right to use the phrase “radical media”, and, if we won, we might get 85% of our costs back.
In other words, the best case scenario was that we spend in the region of £30,000 (and a lot of time and energy) in order to establish our right to use the name “Radical Media Conference”.
The organising group - Peace News, Ceasefire, New Internationalist, Red Pepper, Undercurrents and visionOntv – regretfully agreed that we were not in a position to take up this case, and we were forced to change the name of the event.
However, the organisers have retained use of the original URL: www.radicalmediaconference.org