The Washington Post

Ready for Hillary has same sense of humor as the NSA


(Dan McCall)

This post has been updated.

Ready for Hillary has taken a cue from the NSA.

No, the pro-Hillary activists aren’t tapping your phones, but they are just as humorless as the spy agency when mocked. In November, we reported that the NSA and Homeland Security Department were none too pleased about parody products sold online using an altered image of their logo, such as a T-shirt with: “Peeping while you’re sleeping” inside the NSA seal and under that, “The NSA, the only part of the government that actually listens.”

(Image provided by Public Citizen) (Image provided by Public Citizen)

The federal agencies demanded Web stores Zazzle and CafePress, which sell user-generated and customizable items, take them down. Then Public Citizen sued the government on behalf of Minnesotan Dan McCall, who designed and sold the NSA and DHS T-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers and other such joke memorabilia, for infringing on freedom of speech.

The government backed down and retracted their take-down letters. All was, as Attorney Paul Levy put it, “hunky dory.”

But now McCall, whose slogan is “freedom products for liberty lovers” is back with a new line that riffs on the Ready for Hillary logo, using the PAC’s three-starred flag and the same font with the words: “I’m Ready for Oligarchy.”

The Hillary people were not amused and sent Zazzle and CafePress letters  June 1 alleging copyright infringement and demanding the products be removed. The sites obliged, and now Public Citizen is back on the case. Levy wrote to them, and on Wednesday, CafePress agreed “to reinstate the designs at issue.” Zazzle will not.

Levy sent a letter to lawyers for Ready for Hillary on Monday asking that they retract their take-down demand by close of business  Thursday. “Absent a retraction, we will file an action for a declaratory judgment of non-infringement, seeking damages for lost sales and an award of attorney fees for the issuance of a frivolous takedowns,” Levy wrote.

Late  Thursday afternoon, with no word from the Hillary PAC lawyers, Levy said he was prepared to sue.

“It’s absolutely mind-boggling. You’d think folks supporting a candidacy for president, you’d think they’d know better,” Levy told the Loop. “I feel badly, but I’m not going to let them take this protected expression off the market.”

We too reached out to the Ready for Hillary spokesman, but did not get a response. Now of course they are busy being roadies on Hillary’s book tour.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. Friday: Levy informs us that at almost midnight Thursday Ready for Hillary retracted its demand that the parody items be taken down. Good thing, he says, because he had a complaint drafted and ready to file Friday in federal court.

 

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Republicans debated Saturday night. The New Hampshire primary is Feb. 9. Get caught up on the race.
Highlights from Saturday's GOP debate
Except for an eminent domain attack from Bush, Trump largely avoided strikes from other candidates.

Christie went after Rubio for never having been a chief executive and for relying on talking points.

Carson tried to answer a question on Obamacare by lamenting that he hadn't been asked an earlier question about North Korea.
The GOP debate in 3 minutes
Listen
Play Video
Quoted
We have all donors in the audience. And the reason they're booing me? I don't want their money!
Donald Trump, after the debate crowd at St. Anselm's College booed him for telling Jeb Bush to be "quiet."
Listen
Play Video
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She's planning to head Sunday to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 38%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.