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Just Do It, Ian!

Corporate behemoth Nike has crassly stolen the cover art of Minor Threat's seminal debut album to promote its upcoming skateboarding demo tour. Minor Threat frontman and Dischord Records founder Ian MacKaye was understandably pissed, and Nike hurriedly launched into its sandbagging/tapdancing routine.

Because of the album's strong imagery and because our East Coast tour ends in Washington DC, we felt that it was a perfect fit. This was a poor judgement call and should not have been executed without consulting Minor Threat and Dischord Records.

A lame apology isn't enough. This is roughly comparable to a trial lawyer making an outrageous statement in court, knowing it will be objected to by opposing counsel, with the judge upholding the objection, having the statement purged from the record and instructing the jury to disregard the statement. But the jury still heard the statement, which will inevitably influence their verdict.

Nike put this cover art out there, knowing full well they had no right to use it, and then apologized when the copyright holder objected. But not until the ad was exposed to Nike's skateboard customers, who will now, consciously or subconsciously, associate Nike with Minor Threat, an association which MacKaye clearly and understandably objects to vehemently.

Dischord Records spokesperson Alec Bourgeois told MTV.com that MacKaye and the other members of Minor Threat are still planning to meet to consider their legal options.

So sic 'em, Ian. Sue them until they bleed millions of dollars in damages and beg for mercy.

(Via Boing Boing.)

June 30, 2005 in Current Affairs, Music | Permalink