Satirist Dan McCall battles Hillary Clinton PAC over "Ready for Oligarchy" design [IMAGES]

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Dan McCall
This is the design that has McCall in trouble with a Hillary-supporting PAC.
:::: UPDATE (2:20 p.m.) :::: The Ready for Hillary PAC today retracted its "takedown demand," meaning McCall resolved the dispute and can resume selling his products on Zazzle without the need for litigation after all. Read a commentary by McCall's lawyer here.

Earlier this year, Sauk Rapids satirist Dan McCall won a legal victory over the federal government after National Security Agency reps tried to get online retailers to stop selling shirts emblazoned with the the agency's seal and slogans like this: "The NSA: The only part of government that actually listens."

The NSA essentially claimed their logo is copyrighted and couldn't be used without permission, an argument that didn't pass muster in light of the First Amendment's protection of satire. Now, a pro-Hillary Clinton group is making a version of that same argument to once again get McCall's products pulled from stores. (McCall also sells his shirts on his own site, LibertyManiacs.com.)

See also:
Winona County Republicans share post comparing Hillary to satan

"It's a situation where, a little more than three months after we won the NSA case, we're like, 'Really, again?'" McCall tells us.

Legal reps for the Ready for Hillary super PAC sent two of McCall's biggest online vendors, CafePress and Zazzle, a "Copyright Infringement Notice" arguing that logos like the one at the top of this page are "synonymous with the Ready for Hillary political action committee" and "specifically created for Ready for Hillary's exclusive use." Though the letter only specifically refers to an "I'm Ready for Hillary to Explain Benghazi" bumper sticker that isn't McCall's creation, it was apparently enough to persuade both retailers to pull McCall's products too.

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Dan McCall
McCall posted this summary of the spat to his Facebook page.

That prompted McCall's attorney to write a letter to Ready for Hillary making this case (emphasis in the original):
Although the parody specifically cited in the letter was offered for sale by a different parodist, we can understand how CafePress would have assumed that your threat of litigation could have extended to McCall's materials, and how a court might later decide that the letter place it on notice of your potential claims against McCall as well. McCall concedes that he does not have your client's permission to use its logo in his materials; we contend that a parodist does not need permission.
CafePress didn't need much persuading before deciding to resume selling McCall's Hillary products. In a letter written to McCall, CafePress's senior legal counsel writes, "Our decision to reinstate is based upon our concerns with the First Amendment implications raised by Ready for Hillary's notification."

"Commentary, criticism, and parody about politics, the political process, and political figures are given the highest level of First Amendment protection," the letter continues. "Further, speech conveyed through the use of messages on T-shirts and related items such as the bumper sticker about which Ready for Hillary has complained has long been held to be protected speech under the First Amendment."

But as of last night, Zazzle still hadn't followed suit, and McCall is threatening legal action.

(For more, click to page two.)

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16 comments
Patrick Solomon
Patrick Solomon

Noel's got it right. It's a lesser-of-two-evils situation. And there's no organized progressive third party.

Jeremy Deysach
Jeremy Deysach

Patrick, what is it that Hillary has done that makes you think she is the one to vote for?

mccallterry
mccallterry

So interesting that it takes a small guy to defend us all from tyranny from an over reaching government (e.g. NSA) and now a self important politician. 

How tone deaf is the current government and the main candidate from the so called party of the people?  Good people from across the political spectrum are sick of being bullied by these thugs.

Thank you Paul Alan Levy at Public Citizen for your efforts, and you Dan McCall for defending our free speech against the Oligarchy.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

make sure not to give in, you have a MONEYMAKER right here

Stephen Noel
Stephen Noel

We don't have to be tied to just Democrat or just Republican...there are other parties to endorse. I'm a Democrat but I've crossed party lines when my party hasn't had the same direction I feel the party should be going. For example, so much focus on forced social change when so many other issues are really needing attention. Anyways that's my take. I also think we should adhere strictly to our constitution and not ever try to circumvent it in order to fit a purpose. Votes count, look what happened to the Republican minorty cat. That's real change...not manufacture forced change...people rebel against that.

Mel UgoFurst
Mel UgoFurst

GO DAN GO!!!! He's already won out over the TSA molesters and the CIA.. This is nothing! LOVE IT!!!!!!!

Andrew Berg
Andrew Berg

Why is a newspaper or journal criticizing another person or writer's use of their Constitutional rights to free speech? Doesn't that seem ironic? Or are those rights revoked when someone criticizes your "preferred" politician?

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