Forwarded by Susan Bunting Originally transcribed and posted by Beth Chalecki "Mounties Pay-as-You-Logo Plan" "With apologies to the beaver, no Canadian symbol bestrides the world so formidably as the Mountie, the red-serge-suited, wide-brim-hatted, high-boot-shod constable of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "But international renown for civilized crime-fighting, helped along by a dandy outfit, has come at a price to the noble Mountie. To the dismay of the force, the distinctive caricature can be found on dolls, teddy bears, T-shirts, ashtrays, beer mugs, key chains, and bibs -- and "to a large extent in ways not compatible with our image," said Constable Tim Cogan. "As of April 1, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will attempt to restrict the use of its "official marks" and image by licensing approved merchandisers of Mountie paraphernalia. In exchange for a 10% royalty, the (preferably Canadian) entrepreneurs will have exclusive use of the image or official RCMP logo in dozens of product categories. "If we let it go loose in the marketplace," Cogan said, "the image will be destroyed." "The revenue will be paid to the Mounted Police Foundation to support community policing, drug awareness programs and public relations activities such as the annual RCMP Musical Ride tour, one of the few remaining occasions when the Mounted Police are still mounted. The modern, vehicle-driving incarnation of the RCMP combines functions of the FBI and the CIA in the United States, and also serves as the provincial police everywhere but in Ontario and Quebec. "The RCMP asserted that the trademark protection would extend to the United States, comparing the licensing program to those successfully and profitably enforced by professional sports franchises, the Olympic Games, and the Walt Disney Co., which Cogan said "police themselves." The person the Mounties always have in mind when they refer to egregiously improper uses of their image is a professional wrestler from Quebec named Jacques Rougeau, who has performed -- brutally and underhandedly, unlike a real Mountie -- in an irregular scarlet tunic with gold buttons. That was before RCMP lawyers reportedly persuaded him to change his act. "A British beer manufacturer recently launched an ad campaign featuring a character called "Malcolm the Mountie." A letter from RCMP headquarters was enough to stop that campaign in its tracks. Then there was a boomlet to name Vancouver's new professional basketball team the Mounties, but negotiations between the force and the franchise fell apart. Among the stumbling blocks: The RCMP was chary of lending its name to an organization with inevitable financial links to the tobacco and beer industries. "No Mounties were visible, unless in mufti, during a recent visit to Toronto's Adults Only Video, an emporium recently described in the New Yorker as "Satan's Blockbuster." But a sales clerk confirmed that the store carried "several" Mountie-oriented videos. The packaging of one in stock, "The Mountie," promised scenes of women wearing unbuttoned red tunics, high boots, and little else. "That's completely unacceptable," Constable Cogan declared. "The crackdown comes at at time when the Mountie image, and a lot of other Canadian stereotypes besides, have been appropriated wholesale in a popular North American television series, "Due South," aired on CBS and Canada's CTV network. "Due South," an unusual U.S.-Canadian venture is a kind of "NYPD Blue" for the "Murder, She Wrote" set. It pairs a ramrod Mountie named Benton Fraser, improbably posted to the Canadian consulate in Chicago, and a sad-sack Italian-American cop named Ray Vecchio. Constable Fraser, played by Canadian actor Paul Gross, crystallizes many a Canadian stereotype along with solid Mountie values. He goes strictly by the book. He is unfailingly fearless, nonviolent, high-minded, and polite. He never has a wrinkle in his outfit or on his brow. And, to judge by new commercials for the series, he slays the ladies with his old-fashioned, jut-jawed charm. "The RCMP had a little trouble with "Due South" at the outset -- it had been launched last year, after all, without so much as a by-your-leave from the force. Fraser's uniform was all wrong, and some of his technical feats were not according to the script real Mounties have to follow. "But now the force is cooperating, providing Fraser his never-creased regulation uniform and vetting the scripts. The RCMP loves everything Benton Fraser stands for. "If we had every member of the force displaying his comportment, we'd be very happy," Cogan said. "He's the model Mountie." "The Canadian news media have had predictable fun with the idea of cracking down on Mountie tchotchke peddlers. The Globe and Mail wondered if the now-emboldened Mounties could also begin to correct other offenses against Canada's good name, such as ticketing U.S. meteorologists who make "disparaging references to the 'bitter Canadian air mass.'" "But the newspaper's editorial could not resist concluding on a serious and patriotic note: "As an image of Canada we could do worse than straight and true." "NYPD Blue" for the "Murder, She Wrote" set? Ouch! Better take my Geritol and go lie down.