The Day I Killed Freedom of Expression – Article Summary

Aboriginal Representation and the Canadian Art World” by Kirsty Robertson and Keri Cronin

Kembrew Mcloed puts forth an absurd opinion that he participated in “killing” freedom, of expression. However, this metaphoric allusion was made possible by the United States Patent and Trademark Office  (USPTO), a government agency with the power to decide what entities that can subsequently be trademarked or patented. Mcleod undertook this particular task first as a prank that would see him obtain the freedom of expression as his private intellectual property.

Macleod’s decision had been influenced by the blatant poling that had been made possible by intellectual property law. As a result, there existed numerous restrictions for various researchers and creators who felt as though the state had placed multiple layers of bureaucracy to hamper their progress. The author also notes, with great concern, that it was somewhat shocking that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) neither found his exploits politically or socially unsettling (Cronin and Robertson ). The only glaring issue that he had to grapple with was the fact that the agency initially found fault in the manner in which the application had been typed.

Moreover, Mcleod explicitly notes in the article that he was well aware of the media fanfare that was bound to follow after his patent was approved. This was primarily because there United States takes legislations concerned with intellectual rights very seriously. The resultant effect was the whole story going viral and presenting a precedent that had never been heard of before.

The whole saga surrounding the trademarking of freedom of expression is wrought with contradictions. The United States is a country built on liberty and long-standing values of freedom, yet an individual was able to privatize such an entity single-handedly. In my opinion, Mcleod eventually “killed” freedom of expression when he failed to file the necessary paperwork to keep it afloat. As a prankster, he had managed to bring to light an issue many Americans would readily take for granted.

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