Pulling a fast one on the US Chamber of Commerce

A friend of mine showed this to me recently. I’ve really been dropping the ball on this blog, it seems, because this is about a month old. But it’s still too good not to share:

Watch on YouTube

I’m not too familiar with The Yes Men, and even if you disagree with the very idea of a fake press conference, this is a quite entertaining six minutes and five seconds of video.

My take on this: The Yes Men chose a quite ingenious way to get their message across. Granted, it’s very risky, including but not limited to at least civil liability. In fact, that’s exactly what the US Chamber of Commerce has done, per a PDF file posted on their Web site as linked from The Yes Men’s fake US Chamber of Commerce site (at first glance it looks like the real US Chamber of Commerce has taken it over, but look closely and also look at the whois database record). And let’s be fair about it, due to trademark laws, the real US Chamber of Commerce cannot tolerate impostors. It’s the same set of laws which actually require Coca-Cola to investigate establishments who serve Pepsi when someone orders a Coke, and which other companies have fallen victim to after failure to act effectively (Bayer AG and the Otis Elevator Company being perhaps the best known examples for “apsirin” and “escalator” respectively). But that’s another rant for another day.

Troubling as well is that the US Chamber of Commerce is attempting to silence its critics, and according to The Yes Men’s site, wants the videos of the fake press conference to disappear off of YouTube. Well, folks, this is why we have Freenet, which is by design censorship-resistant. I’m sure by now at least one copy has found its way there.

The irony of it all? The US Chamber of Commerce has actually adopted a stance similar to the one that was misattributed to it via the fake press conference held by The Yes Men.