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Closing Argument: KHANDA - News www.sikhe.com STATUS REPORT
Posted by Shyrone K Singh Send Email to Author on Wednesday, 3/07/2001 1:30 PM MST
------- Start of forwarded message -------

Subject: Fwd: Khanda - News
www.Sikhe.com STATUS REPORT
To: KaurSingh@Webtv.net
From: Kaur Singh <KaurSingh@Webtv.net>
Cc: newsdesk@sikhe.com
Date: 07 Mar 2001 10:44:59 PST
------- Start of forwarded message -------

Subject: Khanda - News
www.Sikhe.com STATUS REPORT

To: kaursingh@webtv.net
From: KaurSingh@webtv.net (~Shyrone Kaur~)

Cc: Kaur@WorldSikh.com (~Shyrone Kaur~)

Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 10:25:05 -0500 (EST)


Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa,
Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh!


Pyare Sadh Sikh Cyber Sangat Jeo,

Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akaal!

This email contains the latest update regarding the MISUSE & EXPLOITATION OF THE KHANDA IN MARKETING THE "ETERNAL BLADE" VIDEO GAME.

In today's issue of the GLOBAL SIKH DAILY NEWS ONLINE, our concerted efforts are detailed in the article below.

Significant information is given pertaining to similar misrepresentation of Islamic symbols by mega corporations, ie: Coca Cola and Nike, and how the Islamic community handled thier protests.

Additionally, full details regarding the corporations - SonyWeb, Stormfront, Ubi Soft, Mattel and Christy Marx, the author of the video game, is included in the www.Sikhe.com article.

S.M.A.R.T. is supporting our efforts and we, the Sikh Panth, are advised to restrain from further actions so that S.M.A.R.T. can facilitate an amicable resolution.

Interestingly, the use of the Khanda has been withdrawn from the production of the "Eternal Blade" as of today.

Indeed this is excellent news as our efforts have indeed paid off.

We indeed appreciate everyone's efforts, concerns and hard work in following through with this campaign.

Again, please let us restrain from further actions and allow S.M.A.R.T. to complete the process of resolving this injustice.

Let us learn from the past experiences of the Islamic community, regarding their organized efforts in resolving the misguided actions of other mega corporations against their religious symbols.

Again, we thank everyone whom have supported this monumental effort.

Gur Fateh!
Shyrone Kaur
============
SikhCyberSangat@yahoogroups.com
Kaur@WorldSikh.com
KaurSingh@webtv.net


(Please distribute widely to your family, friends, egroups and post at your
Gurdwara.)

-------------------------------------------------


http://www.sikhe.com/gsdno/03072001/khandastory.htm

Status Report 

March 7, 2001


The Khanda Issue - Why Sikh cyber lines are aBuzz - A test is around the
corner

Sikhe News Bureau


Thursday afternoon, March 1, Sartaj Singh (Dhami) decided to take a
break from work to surf the net for games.

Sartaj had no clue of the flurry of activity he was about to unleash.
Staring at him from the pages of SonyWeb.com, a video game preview
website, was the Sikh Khanda promoting 'Eternal Blade', Mattel
Interactive's latest video game offering, slated for release this
summer.

Taken aback, Sartaj promptly shot off an email to SonyWeb and informed
Sikh egroups on the misuse of the Sikh religious insignia.

Alerted, activist Shyrone Kaur swung into action. Kaur raised the alarm
with the Sikh CyberSangat, wrote to SonyWeb.com, informed S.M.A.R.T.
(Sikh Media Action Resource Taskforce) and did not let up on the issue,
pursuing it with vigour.

Opening up to soothing music, Shyrone's email to SonyWeb evoked a
pleasant and prompt response from the company's Chief Executive, Adam
Doree. Doree defended SonyWeb.com's right to reproduce logos and
artworks of published videogames. Absolving his company of
responsibility, the SonyWeb Chief pointed to the game publisher "Mattel
Interactive, who have developed the 'intellectual property', or the
developer of the game, Stormfront" as the offending parties.

In a different exchange with Amardeep Singh, Craig Hansen, site editor
of SonyWeb.com, emailed "We have no ties to SONY itself."

Unlike the Coca Cola logo reflection case which erupted in the Gulf in
1999-2000, the graphic in Stormfront's design for Mattels' 'Eternal
Blade' is virtually an exact replica of the Sikh Khanda.

Coca Cola's artwork needed to be closely scrutinized by researchers and
linguists at the Ifta'a Institute, a scholarly authority on Islamic law.
Egypt's most senior religious figure, the Grand Mufti Sheik Nasser Farid
Wassel, eventually ruled "The trademark does not injure Islam or Muslims
directly or indirectly."

However, in a three month mid-1997 public relations snafu,
trans-national apparel giant NIKE had to recall 38,000 pairs in a
product segment of shoes carrying a logo of squiggly lines resembling
the Arabic word for God, 'Allah'.

There can be no mistaking Mattells' logo.

http://www.sonyweb.com/previews/ps2/eternalblade.html

Khanda:

http://www.sikhs.org/khanda.htm

The Muslim community was enraged. In addition to the re-call, NIKE
agreed to sponsor community development projects involving construction
of playground facilities at several Islamic centers and Muslim schools.
In fullfilment of the committment, the ground-breaking ceremony for one
of the projects was done even two and a half years after the settlement
was reached.

Other provisions of the agreement incuded donations of NIKE products to
Islamic charitable groups, NIKE sponsorship of events in the Muslim
community and the production of educational CDs and videos.

NIKE's product had shipped. Not yet in stores, 'Eternal Blade' 's
imminent release is slated for the second quarter of 2001.

In another incident, top-rated American National radio personality Paul
Harvey issued an on-air apology to Muslims for casual remarks suggesting
that Islam was a 'fraudulent religion'.

The apology came after hundreds of concerned Muslims called, faxed and
e-mailed both Harvey's office and that of ABC Radio Networks, his
program's syndicator. Harvey reportedly said he was "much moved" by the
outpouring of concern from the community. "Nothing moved me as much as
the simple letters," said Harvey.

The organisations involved in the above actions consistently asked
activists to be firm but polite.

The reaction to use of the Khanda continued unabated.

Come Monday, S.M.A.R.T. moved into the act on the issue. An email from
S.M.A.R.T.'s offices sought restraint, urging a firm but polite policy
if, at all, any Sikh communicated with the offending parties.

Simultaneously, on the heels of it's successful January campaign to get
the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandak Committee to stop selling akhand
paths on the web, the Sikh Heresy Regulation Board (SHRB), initiated a
mass email campaign.

In the meantime, events have been moving at a rapid pace for game
publisher Mattel Interactive. A branch of Mattel Inc., the American toy
major, Mattel Interactive comprised of three divisions; Entertainment,
Productivity and Learning. In May 1999, Mattel completed its merger with
The Learning Company, a top maker of software products.

Following significant financial losses from Mattel's Interactive
Division, which was now The Learning Company, in April 2000 the
company's Board of Directors announced that it had retained Credit
Suisse First Boston Corporation to sell its software business.

By end September 2000 Gores Technology Group had acquired The Learning
Company. Subsequent to re-structuring, Gores Technology, while retaining
the Productivity and Learning pieces of it's acquisition, last week sold
the Entertainment Division to Ubi Soft, the two-day old and current
owner of 'Eternal Blade'. Ironically, Ubi Soft may yet not be aware of
what it has bought into.

The current players, then, are Ubi Soft, who now owns the rights to
'Eternal Blade', Stormfront Studios, the game developer, Christy Marx,
the author of the game and the Sikh community.

Product vendors, should the product hit stores around the world (since
these are companies that market world-wide), are subject to community
pressure but by then the damage becomes more difficult to contain.

The Sikh line of action, of course, must be in keeping with the
teachings of our Guru.

That next step is for the Sikh CyberSangat to decide.
 
Contacts:

Publisher: French owned Ubi Soft. American subsidiary is:

Ubi Soft Entertainment Inc.
625 Third Street, 3rd floor
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: (415) 547-4000
Fax: (415) 547-4001
email: webmaster@ubisoft.com

Eternal Blades' author: Christy Marx can be reached through her
manager:

Lori Palmer-Smith
tel.: 661-242-6946
email: highway1@frazmtn.com
email: lori1129@aol.com

Game Developer: Stormfront Studios

Katie Jack, Director of Operations
Stormfront Studios
4040 Civic Center Dr., Third floor
San Rafael, CA 94903
voice: 415-479-2800 ext.206 / fax:415-479-2880
E-mail: kjacksfs@aol.com

The People and the Board of Directors at Stormfront.


Any Comment ? | Submit An Article or News | Suggestions

Copyright ©2001 sikhe.com

.......................................................

UPDATE: SonyWeb Withdraws Khanda as Logo 07Mar 01

Sat Sri Akal!

Please visit the attached links of SONYWEB, which had intially displayed
the Khanda logo of the game Eternal Blade. A week of protests has lead
the makers to withdraw the logo and the Website has listed down the
reasons for the withdrawal........

http://www.sonyweb.com/news/0301/012.html

http://www.sonyweb.com/news/0301/015.html

Some may call this a hardline approach on the part of the
protestors.....but we need to draw a line somewhere, else Khanda would
have been soon become a tool for commercial gains......as a marketing
tool.

regards

Amardeep Singh


------- End of forwarded message -------

From: sdhami@vt.edu (Sartaj S. Dhami)
Date: Tue, Mar 6, 2001, 10:50pm
To: info@sikhmediawatch.org,
KaurSingh@webtv.net

Subject: FWD: RE: eternal blade video game

this is the reply that i got back from stormfront studios.

===== Original Message From KJackSFS@aol.com =====

You'll be glad to hear that symbol you are referring to is no longer the game logo. In fact the game name and logo were changed months ago, the Sony article was based on old information. In any case, the old logo was never intended to refer to any religious symbol, and we're appalled to learn that it was unintentionally offensive or disrespectful in any way.

------- End of forwarded message -------


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