Man Sues DHS And NSA Over Parody T-Shirt Cease-And-Desist
October 31, 2013 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
BALTIMORE (UPI) — A Maryland man whose products parodying a pair of government agencies resulted in cease-and-desist orders is suing the agencies in federal court.
Dan McCall, whose LibertyManiacs.com website sells T-shirts and coffee mugs poking fun at the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, said Zazzle.com, a website that puts custom designs on T-shirts, mugs and other products, refused to sell his items after receiving a cease-and-desist order from the agencies in 2011, Courthouse News Service reported Thursday.
One of the designs alters the DHS logo to read “Department of Homeland Stupidity,” while another advertises the other agency as, “The NSA: The only part of government that actually listens.”
McCall, whose products are now being sold through similar website CafePress.com, filed a federal lawsuit in Baltimore saying his products make fair use of the agencies’ seals “to identify federal government agencies as the subject of criticism.”
The lawsuit argues it’s unConstitutional for the government to forbid him to sell his products to “customers who want to display the items to express their own criticisms of NSA and DHS.”
The suit seeks a declaratory judgment.
The NSA and DHS did not respond to requests for comment, Courthouse News Service reported.