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Aug 22 2013

NSA Kills Parody T-Shirt Sales

Here’s a great idea for a t-shirt:


Unfortunately you can no longer buy the shirt at Zazzle:, 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 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.

17 Responses to “NSA Kills Parody T-Shirt Sales”

  1. Hans Peter says:

    Looks like something out of Nazi Germany.

  2. F.D.R. in Hell says:

    The current Regime has no sense of humor, yet the whole Administration itself is a joke.

    Hey, Eleanor, I should have sued over all those New Deal parodies in 1933. The Raw Deal, the Blue Buzzard, and King Roosevelt.

  3. Eleanor in Hell says:

    Franklin, remember, you -did- discuss censorship.
    Everyone laughed at you. 🙂

  4. bobdog says:

    I’m curious. Does the federal government have the legal authority to file for copyrights, trademarks and patents?

    I would think that it can’t.

  5. meaner than a rattler says:

    Only drooling low information mongoloid 47%er dumbass derelicts didn’t know about the hostile relationship of the status quo vs. mere mundanes.

  6. SNuss says:

    Substitute a vulture, feeding on a human carcass, for the eagle. See if the NSA objects to that.

  7. Columba says:

    Well, now we know the intellectual level of the NSA, i.e., oblivious, which is a fancy word for dumb. Someone should tell them that trying to ban something like this is the best way to spread the word about it — and to increase its sales. Thanks for the tip. I’ll head over to Cafe Press to check out the goods.

  8. ThisObamaNation says:

    It looks like the Nazi Spy Agency doesn’t like to be mocked.

  9. Flu-Bird says:

    It should be the KHOAS symbol from GET SMART a Vulture perched upon the globe of the earth

  10. Weeping4US says:

    I’m pretty sure their logo is public property. I don’t understand how it could be copyrighted.

  11. Henry says:

    Everyone buy a shirt, take a selfie while wearing it, and upload to your favorite social media site… That’ll keep the NSA busy for a couple of decades.

  12. Piker says:

    “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” ~ Voltaire

  13. InformaZen says:

    Yeah, and the NSA also just captured more of that simple metadata to use in their data mining activities. Please be aware that metadata is as important as the “actual” data in terms of how it’s used. “It’s Just Metadata”

  14. True Blue says:

    You know, the CIA’s motto is Veritas vos Liberabit -the Truth will set you Free- ironic given how they (like the Stasi) will do anything to keep the Truth hidden.

  15. Sling Trebuchet says:

    I had understood that while Goverment material could be covered by Secrecy, it could not be covered by Copyright. Everything Gov is owned by “We the people”.

    Perhaps the NSA logo is a classified secret?

  16. Hanoverfist says:

    Cant they just put an eye on the shield?

  17. IOpian says:

    If the First Amendment protects anything it is first and foremost the right of the people to criticize, ridicule, lampoon and parody their government, its agencies and the members of it as long as they are receiving a check from the federal government…. in short, from us.

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