Minn. Man Wins Case Against NSA Over Parody Site
Updated: Tuesday, February 25 2014, 11:13 PM EST
Free speech advocates are declaring victory after the NSA dropped its case against a graphic artist who didn't reveal government secrets, but cracked a joke.
Dan McCall is the artist behind Libertymaniacs.com, a site that sells merchandise that pokes fun at the government. But when he changed the NSA's logo to read "Peeping While You're Sleeping," the NSA wasn't laughing. The NSA claimed McCall's modification was a violation of their intellectual property.
The NSA ordered McCall to 'cease and desist' and demanded he remove his t-shirts from the market.
McCall refused to go down without a fight and slapped the NSA with a lawsuit alleging the agency had trampled his first amendment rights.
Baltimore attorney Ezra Gollogly joined the fight. "Interpreting those statutes in a way the government was interpreting them was a violation of the first amendment and the right to criticize the government is a protected first amendment right," Gollogly said.
This month, after three years of fighting, the government dismissed the case agreeing the designs were simply intended as parody.
The NSA insists it has no problem with items that parody the agency, but says they should not give the impression that the NSA approved them.