Nasty lawyer letter claims trademark infringement. Can you say Streisandski Effect?
If you want to know why Democrat leaders and party officials are scared to deathski about Bernie Sanders at the top of the ticket in November, take a look at the Featured Image, the graphic on a T-Shirt sold by Liberty Maniacs.
Bernie is doing well in head-to-head polling against Republicans because Republicans, including yours truly, have laid low in going after Bernie. Hillary, meanwhile, is too afraid of the progressive base of the Democrat Party to lower the hammer-and-sickle on Bernie’s head through negative advertising.
Buzzfeed reports that Team Bernie is not happy with the T-Shirt and related merchandise:
An online merchant has accused the Bernie Sanders campaign of “trademark bullying” after a Bernie 2016, Inc. attorney sent him a cease and desist letter regarding T-shirts, mugs, and sweatshirts depicting the candidate with historic communist leaders.
Claire Hawkins, a lawyer with Garvey, Schubert, Barer — which said it is “the official organization” of the campaign — sent the letter to Daniel McCall, demanding his company, Liberty Maniacs, stop selling the items.
The products show Sanders next Karl Marx, Joseph Stalin, and others with the tagline, “Bernie is my comrade.”
“I was surprised Bernie’s campaign would have done that,” McCall, who designed the image, told BuzzFeed News….
Trademark infringement? Okay, I don’t claim to be an “expert” in the field, but wouldn’t that mean Bernie is claiming proprietary rights in his image being next to Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Engels and Marx?
Paul Levy, McCall’s lawyer, responded to Hawkins, accusing the Sanders campaign of “trademark bullying.”
In his letter, Levy wrote to Hawkins: “It is your contention, apparently, that an ordinary and reasonably prudent consumer would tend to be confused about whether it is the Sanders campaign that is promoting Sanders’ candidacy by associated him with the 19th Century theoreticians of the communist movement as well as with three ruthless Communist Party dictators.”
Levy called the contention “absurd,” adding that the Sanders campaign “cannot use trademark theories to silence members of the American public who disagree with your client’s views and oppose his candidacy.”
Levy wrote about the letters in a blog post for Public Citizen, an advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader. He wrote in the blog that that lead counsel for the Sanders campaign told him that Garvey, Schubert, Barer sent the demand letter without any consultation with the Sanders campaign.
So Team Bernie is denying involvement, but the lawyer who sent the threatening letter specifically said he was counsel to Team Bernie and acting on behalf of Team Bernie, as these excerpts show:
Wait, hold on.
So the lawyers also claimed that Bernie in the image might create confusion? As in people might mistake him for Marxist leaders who killed hundreds of millions of people collectively? (pun intended)
The Team Bernie lawyer letter really worked, just like it worked for Barbra Streisandski:
The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.
It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose 2003 attempt to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California, inadvertently drew further public attention to it. Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters to suppress numbers, files, and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.
I hope Bernie wins the Democrat nomination.
Oh boy, do I hope. It might be our only chance.DONATE
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