December 2006 (December 15, 2006)
To: Anti-nuclear, safe energy & environmental organisations
From: WISE and OOA Fonden
Use and protection of the Smiling Sun logo
Your cooperation to maintain the integrity, and oppose misuse, of the logo
Dear friends in the anti-nuclear movement,
The nuclear power industry and its governmental allies are increasing their efforts to promote nuclear power as a "clean air" energy source and to encourage the construction of new nuclear reactors worldwide. Yet all major threats generated by nuclear power remain. These include reactor safety, disposal of highly radioactive waste and terrorism - just to name the most significant.
In response to this the environmental community is stepping up its efforts as well. We are all seeking new methods and arguments to reach the public and, at the same time, using what has worked until now.
One of the tools which has been with us for more than 30 years of anti-nuclear campaigning is the symbol of the 'Smiling Sun', expressing our call: NUCLEAR POWER? - NO THANKS in many languages. The intention behind the design was to create a friendly and open-minded logo, expressing a polite "no thanks" after giving consideration to the matter; a logo indicating communication by dialogue. Right from the beginning, this logo has proved to be extremely strong and powerful.
With enthusiasm and imagination the Smiling Sun logo was and still is being used succesfully by huge numbers of groups in many countries. We would like to keep it this way. However a matter of concern is that the logo, because of its extraordinary appeal, is also quite often being misused for commercial purposes or counter-used by pro-nuclear campaigns. Also, political parties like to take ownership of the logo.
Brief history of the Smiling Sun logo
The Smiling Sun was designed in April 1975 within OOA (Organisationen til Oplysning om Atomkraft), which was organising the Danish anti-nuclear campaign. From 1976, the logo was translated from Danish into some 45 other national and regional languages. The Smiling Sun rapidly became a common symbol in the anti-nuclear movement worldwide.
The Smiling Sun also became a very important and decentralised fundraising tool.
In 1976 the OOA registered the logo as a trademark in Denmark and a number of other countries. Effective from 13th December 2004, the logo has been recognised as EU Community Trademark no. 004193091 and as such is protected in the 25 member countries of the European Union.
The trademark protection serves to:
- Secure the integrity and independence of the logo
- Reserve its utilisation to the anti-nuclear movement worldwide
- Enable action to be taken against abuse and alteration of the logo
From 1978, substantial revenues from sales of the Smiling Sun were used to initiate, and for about 10 years partly finance, the work of WISE, the World Information Service on Energy. OOA was dissolved in 2000 after securing Denmark's future as a non-nuclear country and having the neighbouring Swedish nuclear plant at Barsebäck closed down. All rights relating to the Smiling Sun logo were at that time transferred from OOA to "OOA Fonden", which was set up solely to care for the protection and integrity of the logo. The bulk of the remaining Smiling Sun material was donated to the Amsterdam office of WISE. Stickers and badges in some 20 languages are still available from the Smiling Sun Shop on the WISE website.
With this letter we wish to reach you with the following messages
- If you come across what appears to be misuse of the logo by commercial, political, or pro-nuclear interests, we kindly ask you to contact either WISE or OOA Fonden as we can then take the necessary steps to stop the infringement. Incidents of misuse seem to be increasing.
- If you already use the Smiling Sun in your campaign activities, especially if producing Smiling Sun campaign material for sale, we kindly ask you to give OOA Fonden a brief update. It has proven to be most helpful in fighting commercial alterations and infringement if we can document the extent of use of the logo in anti-nuclear campaigning. You will be offered an agreement giving you full rights to utilise the Smiling Sun.
- If you want to start up production of material displaying the Smiling Sun or are aware of any companies wishing to do so, we kindly ask you to contact OOA Fonden as we can then offer an agreement on production, distribution, sale and use of the logo.
In general, anti-nuclear groups are, of course, free to use the Smiling Sun in their campaigns as long as the wording sticks to the basic NUCLEAR POWER? - NO THANKS in the appropriate language (and with no exclamation mark - the "no thanks" is a considered response to the question) and the material is provided with the symbol ®. We actually encourage any such use and may also provide a print ready master copy. Our interest is mainly to keep record and authorise what is produced and offered for sale.
We will be very happy to provide an agreement - ask for a sample - which, in return for a modest contribution to maintain the protection of the logo, will enable you to use the logo and as well profit from the protection organised by OOA Fonden. Our overall aim is to ensure that profits derived from the Smiling Sun shall be utilised for activities and information to bring about a non-nuclear world.
Peer de Rijk
PO Box 59636
NL-1040 LC Amsterdam
Nyvej 8 B st tv
DK-1851 Frederiksberg C