June 26, 2005

Nike rips off Minor Threat album art

From Pitchfork, courtesy of RealArt

Exhibit A: Classic cover art of Minor Threat's self-titled 1984 compilation.
Exhibit B: Nike Skateboarding's poster image for its "Major Threat" 2005 East Coast Tour.


Just to make sure Dischord hadn't truly gone back on everything they've ever stood for, we asked a representative from the label if Nike had asked to borrow the image. They said the following: "No, they stole it and we're not happy about it. Nike is a giant corporation which is attempting to manipulate the alternative skate culture to create an even wider demand for their already ubiquitous brand. Nike represents just about the antithesis of what Dischord stands for and it makes me sick to my stomach to think they are using this explicit imagery to fool kids into thinking that the general ethos of this label, and Minor Threat in particular, can somehow be linked to Nike's mission. It's disgusting."

Click here for the rest.

Okay, if you don't understand what this is about, its simple: Nike has these ads for some skate tour that totally rips off the album art from Minor Threat's "Complete Discography". The Nike ad says "Major" where the Minor Threat cover says "Minor", and Nike's background is dark blue instead of red (there's a remastered version of this album with a light blue background). On the Minor Threat cover, it shows a guy sitting on a step with his face burried in his crossed arms that are resting on his knees. There's a good view of the guys combat boots, so Nike just cut those out, Photoshop'd in a pair of their over-priced, sweatshop-manufactured garbage, threw in some logos, and they're just "borrowing" album art, not copying it.

There were just enough changes done to the picture so that it doesn't infringe any copyright laws, so all Ian MacKaye and all his friends and fans can do is just be pissed about it. Of course, one thing to do that we all should have done a long time ago, if we hadn't already, is boycott Nike. I mean, isn't it obvious? But not just boycott them, we have to tell people why they shouldn't buy Nike products, and I don't mean yelling at people for wearing Nike shoes. That won't do any good. I think a good idea would be to picket (peacefully) outside of a Nike outlet or retailer, with signs that tell the truth about Nike's evil ways.

At the very least, we should at least get on a casual soapbox about it every now and then if Nike comes up in a conversation with our friends and peers. I know I will....

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