Gas industry, anti-drilling group in flap over logos

The Marcellus Shale Coalition is claiming copyright infringement. Above, the two group's logos are shown side-by-side.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition is claiming copyright infringement. Above, the two group's logos are shown side-by-side.
Posted: September 27, 2012

The Shale Gas Insight conference ended last week in Philadelphia, but the battle between the natural gas industry and anti-drilling activists goes on.

The Marcellus Shale Coalition, the conference sponsors, on Tuesday sent a notice of copyright infringement to the operators of the website for Shale Gas Outrage, the anti-drilling protest organized as a counterpoint to the industry conference.

The coalition alleged that the anti-drilling activists mimicked the industry's logo for their protest, and asked the company hosting the website to "disable access to the infringing material" if it was not removed.

After receiving the cease-and-desist order, the protest organizers tweaked the Shale Gas Outrage logo to remove a drop-like shape from the graphic that was similar to the coalition's. But the threat provided an opportunity for the activists to issue a David-and-Goliath appeal to their supporters that their free-speech rights were under attack.

"MSC, the industry lobbying group which just held its huge, fancy convention, is threatening to force the Shale Gas Outrage website to be taken down, possibly in a matter of hours," Iris Marie Bloom, the head of Protecting Our Waters, told supporters in an e-mail.

The industry group said it was only protecting its trademark.

"It doesn't surprise me that they are trying to gin up their supporters over this," said Patrick Creighton, a spokesman for the coalition.


Contact Andrew Maykuth at 215-854-2947, @Maykuth on Twitter or amaykuth@phillynews.com.

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