Here’s a great idea for a t-shirt:
Unfortunately you can no longer buy the shirt at Zazzle:
LibertyManiacs.com, a company that markets “freedom products for liberty lovers,” says the NSA is using a claim of copyright infringement to stop it from selling T-shirts and other products making fun of the Big Brother agency.
“Two months ago the NSA’s lawyers came after our parodies of the rogue agency and forced our host to take them down,” the company said Friday on its Facebook page. …
After the shirt went on sale, the NSA sent a series of “cease and desist” orders in June, seeking to halt further sales of the items. …
The online retailer Zazzle.com subsequently yanked the shirt from its site…
…along with McCall’s other products poking fun at the hyperintrusive agency.
Supposedly the shirt violates intellectual property rights by vaguely resembling the NSA’s real logo:
Ben Swann isn’t buying it:
“According to both the Electronic Freedom Foundation and the American Bar Association, ‘parody is recognized as a type of fair use, like other commentary and criticism, and courts recognize that a parody must often take recognizable elements from the work it comments upon.’”
Neither is Mark Gibbs of Computerworld:
“First of all I’m amazed that any U.S. government agency can get away with claiming violation of ‘their’ intellectual property rights when they are, in reality, part of us, and we the people, paid for said intellectual property. Sure, go after those ripoff artists in England or France should they dare to illegally use the hallowed logos of U.S. government agencies, but going after U.S. citizens for parody?
“Second, I’m even more amazed that the NSA doesn’t recognize the inherent PR problem they have created by a bureaucratic response to something that, given the negative publicity they’re already receiving, can only make them look even more devious and manipulative than we now think they are, which is a brand new realization for most Americans.”
The hostile relationship between the federal government and those it rules is out in the open now.
Fortunately you can still buy the shirts at Cafe Press.
On a tip from Dan Feely.