Tuesday 26 January 2010

Google’s doodle Oz Day boo boo

Don Arthur, writing on Club Troppo, says that Google has removed the Aboriginal flag from the winning Doodle 4 Google competition (see right)...
  • Last year 11-year-old Jessie Du won Google’s Doodle 4 Google competition with her entry ‘Australia Forever’. It was displayed on Google’s homepage for Australia Day, the doodle features Australian animals formed into the letters g-o-o-g-l-e.

    Attentive Google visitors soon noticed that something was missing. Jessie’s original entry included the Aboriginal flag but this has been removed from the image on Google’s homepage. But before readers start throwing around the ‘R’ word, here’s Google’s explanation: ...

    You may have noticed that the Google Doodle on the homepage today is slightly different to Jessie’s original entry, because that one contained copyright imagery that we weren’t able to publish on the homepage today. However, I think you’ll agree it’s still absolutely beautiful, and inspires lots of wonderful ideas about the Australia of our future.

    The Aboriginal flag is protected by copyright. In 1997 the Federal Court of Australia recognised Harold Thomas as the flag’s author. The flag may only be reproduced in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 or with the permission of Mr Harold Thomas.

    Update: Asher Moses at the Sydney Morning Herald has the story including an interview with Thomas:

    Thomas, who lives in Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory, said he refused only because Google did not approach him in a respectful way and had demanded to reproduce the flag without charge.

    "I said well you can use it but there’s a fee component and the [Google] person said: ‘Oh we can’t do that, we can’t pay for it, we’ll have to ask the girl to change it [the logo] if we have to pay for it,’ " Thomas said.

    "So ever since that time we’ve been argy bargying over how we should go about it and in the end it was a pittance offer so I decided why bother?"

Another update from Crikey: Dogs like to dig holes.

Here's the original deisgn, with additional helpful notations!

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