AGL fails in court bid to stop Greenpeace from using its logo in climate campaign
AGL Energy has failed in a court bid to stop Greenpeace using its logo in a scathing campaign labelling the electricity giant “Australia’s biggest climate polluter”.
The company sued the environmental group over its May 2021 campaign, which argues AGL’s ongoing use of coal-burning power stations stymies Australia’s chances of meeting its Paris Agreement targets.
Greenpeace rejigged the AGL logo to read “Australia’s Greatest Liability” in various materials promoting the campaign and its underlying in-depth report, Exposing AGL.
AGL alleged the group infringed trademark and copyright laws by using a modified version of its logo in online banners, posters, social media posts, placards and a website.
On Tuesday afternoon Justice Stephen Burley ruled against AGL on the trademark claim and a substantial portion of the copyright claim.
Key to his ruling was the “Australia’s Greatest Liability” tagline, which the judge said clearly marked online banners, posters and a website as works of parody or satire.
He wrote many would see the logo and tagline combination as “darkly humorous, because the combined effect is ridiculous”.
“AGL is exposed to ridicule by the use of its corporate imagery including by use of the modified AGL logo to convey a message that AGL would not wish to send,” Justice Burley found.
But the tagline was absent from placards held up by school students that simply bore the AGL logo and the words “Australia’s biggest climate polluter” and was similarly not present in some critical social media posts.
Justice Burley ruled he could not see any element of parody or satire in those materials and they therefore fell foul of copyright.
One placard, in the shape of a black cloud held above a power station, did count as parody or satire, he ruled.
Greenpeace has been restrained from using those materials going forward, but in all other respects the AGL claim was dismissed.
Justice Burley declined to award AGL additional damages
Tesla to buy more than $1 bln of Australian battery minerals a year
Tesla (TSLA.O) said it expects to spend more than $1 billion a year on battery raw materials from Australia given the country’s reliable mining industry and responsible production practices.
Robyn Denholm, chair of the U.S. carmaker, said on Wednesday that Australia, which is rich in minerals used for batteries like lithium and nickel, is poised to benefit as developing supply chains for electric vehicle batteries and the green energy age focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG).
“We expect our spend on Australian minerals to increase to more than $1 billion per annum for the next few years,” Denholm, an Australian, told a Minerals Council of Australia event.
Tesla already sources three quarters of its lithium feedstock from Australia and over a third of its nickel, Denham said, without specifying a dollar figure.
“Australian mining companies do have a good reputation, great expertise, professionalism and are preferred by manufacturers increasingly concerned about meeting both today’s and the future’s ESG requirements,” she said in Canberra.
The comments are in line with a new policy underway by U.S. President Joe Biden’s Administration to rely on allies to supply of the bulk of the metals needed to build electric vehicles.
The U.S. will then focus on processing those metals domestically into battery parts, part of a strategy designed to placate environmentalists, two administration officials with direct knowledge told Reuters last month. read more
Australia, alongside Canada and Brazil, are among the countries expected to benefit.