Thursday, October 23, 2014


Yes, this story, from the Wichita Eagle via the Kansas City Star, is technically accurate:
Homeland Security confiscates Royals underwear in Kansas City

Peregrine Honig says she just wanted to help celebrate the hometown team when she designed Lucky Royals boyshorts.

The panties, with "Take the Crown" and "KC" across the bottom, were set to be sold in Honig's Birdies Panties shop Tuesday. But Homeland Security agents visited the Crossroads store and confiscated the few dozen pairs of underwear....

"They came in and there were two guys" Honig said. "I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws."

She thought that since the underwear featured her hand-drawn design that she was safe. But the officers explained that by connecting the "K" and the "C," she infringed on major league baseball copyright....
I think the word thst both Honig and this story's author are looking for is "trademark," not "copyright." But that's not the aspect of the story right-wing bloggers are picking up on. They're upset because OMIGOD THIS IS BEING DONE BY HOMELAND SECURITY!!!1!1!

From PJ Media:
Did you know that the war on terrorism is over, there are no threats to us whatsoever, and peace has broken out across the entire world?

I didn't either, but if that hasn’t happened, I'm at a loss to explain this.
From Reason's Hit & Run blog:
The Department of Homeland Security has a $39 billion annual budget. It is fighting the fight against our invisible enemies, and taking on the unknown threats of the future.

By confiscating baseball-themed women's underwear from enthusiastic local retailers.
From The American Spectator:
Last I checked, DHS wasn't listed as the enforcement arm for the US Patent and Trademark Office (or for the MLB for that matter), but given that the DHS now has a whopping $40 billion dollar budget that they aren't spending on anything important, perhaps there was a switch they failed to inform the American people of.
That's either disingenuous or ignorant, because last time I checked -- by going to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website a few minutes ago -- Customs was part of the Department of Homeland Security. Maybe that's crazy, but that's what the federal government settled on when DHS was created (under a Republican president) a dozen years ago. And Customs has been pursuing goods that feature unlicensed logos for a long time now.

You can argue against that, and you can argue that a small producer of logo wear shouldn't have to fear this kind of thing -- but hey, since when do conservatives not regard private property rights as sacred? Corporations certainly see their trademarks as lucrative private property.

And the liberarians at Reason? Even they don't think trademarked logos should be protected? Ayn Rand wept:
Ayn Rand, founder of Objectivism, supported copyrights and patents, noting in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal:
Patents and copyrights are the legal implementation of the base of all property rights: a man's right to the product of his mind. Every type of productive work involves a combination of mental and of physical effort: of thought and of physical action to translate that thought into a material form. The proportion of these two elements varies in different types of work. At the lowest end of the scale, the mental effort required to perform unskilled manual labor is minimal. At the other end, what the patent and copyright laws acknowledge is the paramount role of mental effort in the production of material values; these laws protect the mind's contribution in its purest form the origination of an idea. The subject of patents and copyrights is intellectual property.... Thus the law establishes the property right of a mind to that which it has brought in existence.
Rand apparently didn't mention trademarks specifically, but do you really think she'd want the right to use them to be held (ick!) in common?

So this is a two-fer from the right. First, they're trying to fool you about the involvement of the DHS (or maybe they really don't understand its makeup). Then they're revealing a heretofore unacknowledged belief that trademarks should be forced into the commons. Who knew they thought that?


Victor said...

Well, since nowadays there's not one atom of creativity in conservatives, why should they care about trademarks, patent's, or intellectual property rights.

Their "hive mentality" now rules!

BKT said...

It's just another excuse to bash government as long as a Democrat is in the highest office. If Romney had won, this story would never have gained traction on the Right.

Only liberals send out jackbooted government thugs to oppress small business owners. No Republican would every misuse the power of his office like this.