A report into the activities of WAM Clothing & Associates.
Designing Alternative Indigenous Australian Flag for CopyFree Use
websites under construction & development
|There is furore amongst the
Aboriginal Community in Australia causing substantial media attention
AdNews, Nova Peris, 10Daily, The Guardian, INDIGINOUSX, Canberra Times and Clothing the Gap to name a few.
The furore is about a non indigenous business that has hi-jacked the Aboriginal Flag design in which Harold Thomas holds copyright. Harold has given an exclusive copyright licence to use the Flag to WAM Clothing Pty Ltd for business purposes.
|Many indigenous businesses (and apparently also the NRL and AFL) have been sent threatening Cease & Desist letters from WAM, ( WAM Clothing Pty Ltd) most likely instigated by the infamous part owner Ben Wooster of WAM, and other part owner Semele Moore AKA Mele Moore - Party Girl Director and Principal Collection Agent according to Linkedin.|
|Clothing the Gap received one of those letters that required them to sell all of their Flag stock within 3 days or face legal action. It is observed that, neither Wooster or Moore, have put their own name to the letters, and that Wooster's previous lawyers have quit. The indigenous business Clothing the Gap say that they wrote to Harold Thomas in August 2018 regarding using the Flag on their lines of clothing. However they say, Harold did not respond. It is reported that a number of other indigenous businesses have achieved the same result.|
| UPDATE on who is now putting a name to the WAM letters.
Semele AKA Mele Moore - Party Girl, signed this piece of diatribe:
From Mele with Love
THE RESPONSE IS HERE and HERE
KOORIE CIRCLE EARRINGS
17 October 2019
Email DEMAND from BEN WOOSTER Managing Director of Gifts Mate P/L,
who the FEDERAL COURT found to be importing FAKE ABORIGINAL ART.
A $2.3 MILLION DOLLAR PENALTY WAS ISSUED, THAT REMAINS UNPAID.
From WOOSTER with Love
This DEMAND was to a small Aboriginal Earring Business called
KOORIE CIRCLE EARRINGS
|The ASIC extract for WAM Clothing Pty Ltd reveals that Semele Moore is the majority shareholder of the company, and both her and Wooster own canal front properties at Newport, Moore's being 24 Resolute Court, NEWPORT QLD ( recently sold) and Wooster's being 47 Intrepid Court, NEWPORT QLD, a short swim from Semele just four blocks away across the canal (where sharks reportedly swim).|
|Accordingly, alernative flag designs are being developed that will be CopyFree. It is hoped to provide CopyFree Aboriginal Flag Design clothing and products, on the following domains:
SEE >>> ACL <<< UPDATE BELOW
AboriginalFlag.Clothing | AboriginalFlag.Store | AboriginalFlag.Shop
AboriginalFlagClothing.com.au | Aboriginal.Store | Aboriginal.Clothing
SHOWCASING AUTHENTIC AUSTRALIAN INDIGENOUS ART:-
Aboriginal-Art.Directory | Aboriginal-Art.Online
Genuine indigenous Australian businesses are welcome to advertise for free on this website and its domains.
Some white people claim to be Aboriginal and cash in on the booming Aboriginal Art trade by mass producing tacky junk which is often made in Indonesia or China. THEY ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.
This website and its domains support: Indigenous Art Code | Australian Consumer Law | Fake Art Harms Culture.
|As said above, the infamous part
by the ACCC has seen the
Federal Court ordering Ben's
Birubi Art Pty Ltd represented by
Ferrett QC to pay $2.3 million for making false or misleading
representations about products it sold in breach of the Australian
Consumer Law. These products were represented by Ben (as sole director
of Birubi Art Pty Ltd now in liqidation), to be Australian Aboriginal
art with words such as
‘Authentic Aboriginal Art’,
were according to the
findings of the Federal Court, all made in
|From the address given on the Birubi company extract, the masses of Birubi stock is now being sold via Gifts Mate Pty Ltd, another company of which Wooster is the sole director and secretary. On both the ASIC company searches of Birubi (who owe the $2.3 million fine) and Gifts Mate, the Birubi stock (value unknown), appears to be held at Unit 2, 38 Beach Street, KIPPA-RING QLD 4021 which is shared by both companies as their Principle Place of Business, perhaps waiting for some sort of Pheoenix to happen? Or has it already happened? It is imagined that the ACCC will closely monitor the Birubi equity (at Unit 2), in its task of enforcing the penalty.|
Some background on Wooster and Fake Indigenous Art, from the
Sydney Morning Herald.
Australian Senate Inquiry "into the growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 'style' art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia".
Harold Thomas submissions | Birubi Art / Wooster submissions
Incredibly, Wooster states in his submission:
"...there is an extraordinary amount of product for sale on Australian retail tourist outlet shelves purporting to be “Aboriginal Art” that is completely devoid of any input from any indigenous artist, ever. This is an appalling situation, however, it is not a lost battle."
However, the ACCC and the Federal Court found that Wooster's Birubi Art was participating in the very activity that Wooster criticised, thus causing the 2.3 million dollar penalty. Given this penalty, it appears input from indigenous artists would only be from those in BALI. One has to read the Wooster submissions in order to fully comprehend the absolutely stunning hypocrisy.
In support of Wooster, Harold Thomas apparently stands by his statement that, " Ben Wooster has maintained a professional standard of the highest order" - The Guardian
The 3 Amigos of WAM Clothing - Ben Wooster, Harold Thomas & Semele Moore
Picture courtesy of SBS
HOW LOW CAN WAM GO
PLENTY OF FEEDBACK
"An indigenous charity in Bundaberg has been forced to pay thousands of dollars for using the aboriginal flag on its t-shirts. WAM Clothing ... won't make an exemption for the indigenous-run community group."
The charity... "had to remove the flag from their prints after they were forced to pay a royalty fee of more than two thousand dollars by WAM Clothing."
WAM EVEN WANTS BACK MONEY
INSIDER NEWS 24/08/2019
LOWDOWN ON THE 20% "ROYALTY FEE" to WAM
Semele AKA Mele Moore - Party Girl organises the 20%...
Harold Thomas gets 5% from Party Girl.
In a greedy unethical cash grab, WAM gets 15% for sending out Cease & Desist letters and pissing everyone off, under what they describe as a Licencing Agreement.
The REAL Royalty is only 5%.
The WAM / Harold Thomas License Agreement needs to be disclosed,
so as to prove that there is no criminal activity going on, as it has been reported to have been re-written and backdated!
Harold Thomas doesn't want to talk about it, and neither does Party Girl or Ben Wooster.
There is a rumour going around originating from the son of Harold Thomas that Party Girl is Aboriginal... REALLY???
Aboriginal Identity: Who is 'Aboriginal'?
6 September 2019
Gaurdian reports that WAM refuses to clarify its position.
WAM alleges FRAUD:
Indigenous charities left in the dark over fees to use Aboriginal flag on clothing.
Linda Burney demands government sort out Aboriginal flag 'secret agreement'.
Wooster is responsible for a $2.3 million dollar Federal Court penalty for ripping consumers off, Party Girl had to have a court injunction taken out on her to stop her stealing her previous employer's clients, and Harold Thomas is a just a Rat because of his treatment of fellow aboriginals.
BUT THEY WILL CLARIFY NOTHING.
UPDATE 06/08/2019 :
• The publisher of this website has been reliably informed that, after Cease & Desist letters have been sent to particular businesseses prohibiting the sale of stock containing the Aboriginal Flag, and that Semele AKA Mele Moore - Party Girl then goes about making offers to buy that stock for a pittance;
• Court documents filed with the Supreme Court of Queensland ( file number6422/19) reveal that Semele's previous employer Archibald and Brown Pty Ltd, had to obtain a Court Order against Ms. Moore and her firm Moore Debtor Management Pty Ltd, in order to restrain the activity as is set out in the Order.
|THE ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT COPYRIGHT, IT'S ABOUT AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER LAW (ACL)|
RE : AUSTRALIAN CONSUMER LAW
The Proclamation under the Flags Act 1953 states:
I, PHILIP MICHAEL JEFFERY, Governor‑General of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Council and noting the fact that the flag reproduced in Schedule 1 and described in Schedule 2 is recognised as the flag of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and a flag of significance to the Australian nation generally, appoint that flag, under section 5 of the Flags Act 1953, to be the flag of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and to be known as the Australian Aboriginal Flag with effect from 1 January 2008.
THE PROCLAMATION first made on 14 July 1995 and due to administrative oversight was re-proclaimed on 1 January 2008.
Given the proclamation, which states the flag to be "the flag of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia", therin lies the implication that it belongs to the Aboriginal people.
Harold Thomas argued this in his Federal Court matter:
Harold Joseph Thomas v David George Brown & James Morrison Vallely Tennant  FCA 25 (9 April 997) where Justice Sheppard found:
"The fact is, however, that Mr Thomas, along with other members of the Aboriginal community, bitterly resented the flag being proclaimed in this way. In their view, the proclamation represented a usurpation of something which properly belonged to the Aboriginal people and not to the Australian people generally."
Having argued in that Federal Court proceeding that the flag belongs to the Aboriginal people in order to win his case, and that the flag was originally created in 1971 in, "....an attempt to establish an Aboriginal identity against the history of prior oppression of Aboriginal people under European colonisation", and not for any pecuniary purpose, Harold Thomas now wishes to collect money from the Aboriginal people for the flag's use, and cites the Federal Court finding to support his assertion of copyright ownership.
Investigation into the legal implications of this is underway, because belonging to the Aboriginal people and any other similar statements made by Harold Thomas, suggests that the Aboriginal people should not have to pay for the flag's use, which they have understood to be the case, an understanding induced by Harold Thomas causing them to believe it was their own flag.... until now.
Where expenditure has been caused to Aboriginal businesses in reliance of this belief, and the fact that Harold is now facilitating Cease & Desist letters via WAM, prohibiting use of the flag, and demanding licence fees for its use under threat of legal proceedings, he appears to have taken himself into the realm of Australian Consumer Law by his own self serving behaviour.
The background to this issue is not about copyright, there is no argument that Harold owns copyright, but it's about the legal cornerstone of Promissory Estoppel, a doctrine providing that equity will grant a remedy to prevent unconscionable conduct by a party who makes a clear and unequivocal promise to another party, who relies on that promise to their detriment.
Claiming copyright ownership of the Flag in such a way from Aboriginal People, is not only ethically and morally wrong but potentially legally wrong, and the the ACL would likely be the best way of enforcing or relying on this legal cornerstone.
THE WASHUP: As such, it would appear that the any Australian indigenous entity that has suffered a loss by the behaviour of Harold and/or WAM Clothing Pty Ltd, can sue either or both these parties for compensation;
AND that copyright enforcement can only be applied to NON indigenous persons or businesses;
AND in any event, it would appear that WAM Clothing threats are UNENFORCEABLE against Australian Aboriginal People, and are arguably misleading or deceptive.
The borrowed image example above (from Red Bubble) is a derivative of the copyright..
It would therefore arguably, be in breach of the Harold Thomas copyright enforced by WAM against non-indigenous people.
Belonging to the land
Talk to the Hand
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Belonging to the land
Hand Flag Flip
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Sign the Petition to release the Aboriginal Flag from copyright
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