Ransom demands over Koha theft
A rural library in Horowhenua says a United States company has hijacked the computer system it invented and taken the trademark on its Maori name.
The Horowhenua Library Trust devised a software system called Koha 12 years ago to manage catalogues and lending information.
The system is free and widely used by other libraries, churches, schools and corporations around the world.
However, the trust's head of libraries, Joann Ransom, says the American company PTFS/LibLime has been granted provisional rights to the name Koha by the Ministry of Economic Development.
She says she is astounded an international company could trademark a Maori word.
The library has three months to object to the decision and Ms Ransom says it has little money to pay for a legal case.
It's astounding all right, it's a barefaced cheek by the Americans, but that is what they are like. I doubt the Iroquois consented to the use of their name for a helicopter, I doubt the Apache nation was consulted over the naming of Apache Oil - so why would the Yanks give a second thought about appropriating another culture's word for some software they are pinching?
The US will grant corporates all sorts of rights to intellectual property that others never would contemplate doing - so why would we play along with their game? The exploitation and the NZ government's willingness to bend to America doesn't stop with Hollywood's copyright law that both Labour and National have signed up to, or this present government's rushing through anti-union law for Warner Bros. - there is a trade agreement being negotiated across the Pacific that will be full of all these bramble barbs that allow Americans to get away with this sort of thing. They are almost as bad as the Chinese!