Joho the BlogLego hops off the Cluetrain onto the tracks in front of it, wondering what that increasingly loud sound could be - Joho the Blog

Lego hops off the Cluetrain onto the tracks in front of it, wondering what that increasingly loud sound could be

Jake McKee was the Global Community Relations Specialist at Lego. In his essay in the tenth anniversary edition of Cluetrain (subtle product placement, eh?) he tells how Lego learned to engage with its users, and how this was good for everyone. (Josh Bernoff writes about this here.) Lego was a great example of how a business can benefit by getting down off its high horse and playing in the grass with its customers. Thank you, Jake.

Now Jake is gone from the company, and Lego has become an excellent example of how to be a clueless, frightened laughingstock. A 14-year-old user used Legos to create a stop-motion homage to Spinal Tap, which Spinal Tap projected in concert and wanted to include in its DVD. Lego refused to give permission. As a company spokesperson said: “…when you get into a more commercial use, that’s when we have to look into the fact that we are a trademarked brand, and we really have to control the use of our brand, and our brand values.”

First, I am not a lawyer, but: No. The Lego logo wasn’t shown anywhere in the video, and it’s hard to believe that Lego could win a suit.

Second, No. How customer unfriendly can you get? You sell us something that enables us to create what we want, and now you say you get to control what we create? You won’t let us take photos or videos of what we create? Does Crayola get to tell us we can’t post photos of the inappropriate messages I write with their crayons, because it might hurt their image among their target audience of 3-9 year olds and cretinous participants in political debates?

So:

Top Five Inappropriate Items to Construct out of Legosâ„¢ brand Legosâ„¢, owned by Lego Systemsâ„¢, a Lego Groupâ„¢ company

5. Legoâ„¢ Mindstormsâ„¢ dildo

4. Legoâ„¢ ThePiratesBay ship logo

3. Legoâ„¢ world’s most ineffective and uncomfortable condom

2. Legoâ„¢ official Spinal Tapâ„¢ Mud Flaps

1. Legoâ„¢ giant upraised middle finger

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15 Responses to “Lego hops off the Cluetrain onto the tracks in front of it, wondering what that increasingly loud sound could be”

  1. thepiratesbay.com is a domain squatter; presumably thepiratebay.org is the site you meant to link to.

  2. Ack. Thanks. I’ll fix it in the post.

  3. But, Legos are not called Legos because they want to be known as “LEGO® brand building bricks”. See http://www.brothers-brick.com/lego-glossary/

  4. How easy it is to fall off the wagon (or train)!

  5. […] hops off the Cluetrain onto the tracks in front of […]

  6. I hope that you checked with Tim Berners Lee before you wrote this post. After all, you are using the Internet. (or maybe it was Al Gore you were supposed to check with? I can’t remember.)

  7. Links des Tages…

    Heise berichtet über Hacking at Random (HAR)
    CCC zeigt bei der HAR TEMPEST-Messung bei niederländischen Wahlcomputern. Andreas Bogk war übrigens ein Gast in der letzten Chaosradio-Sendung zum selben Thema. Sehr interessant.
    David Weinberger: Lego hop…

  8. I am sorry that Spinal Tap did not pursue this. What is the precedent for this type of control of an object that has been sold to you? I like your Crayola analogy.

  9. […] Lego are being a bit stupid of late. […]

  10. […] Lego hops off the Cluetrain onto the tracks in front of it, wondering what that increasingly loud so…- Joho the Blog, August 13, 2009 […]

  11. […] Lego hops off the Cluetrain onto the tracks in front of it, wondering what that increasingly loud so…- Joho the Blog, August 13, 2009 […]

  12. […] Although David Weinberger has just blogged about how Lego is about to lose touch with its community, the rescue of Mindstorm through […]

  13. For some reason the actual imagery arent loading inside your content for me, the rest of the images on the webpage works correctly yet images in a blog post only comes up with a small red-colored cross

  14. I hate to break my word but here, once again, are my overly generous evaluations of.

  15. […] http://www.hyperorg.com/blogger/2009/08/13/lego-hops-off-the-cluetrain-onto-the-tracks-in-front-of-i…: […]


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