And FREEZE PEACH activists, for that matter.
One of the things that struck me the hardest in that story, at least after excluding the revelation that cops had actually placed punisher logos on their patrol cars anywhere, ever, much less huge logos covering nearly the entirely of the hoods, was the DeepThoughtsing™ of batshit dingleberry Roy Gutterman, head of the Syracuse Tully Center for Free Speech.
What did this “expert on communications law and the First Amendment” have to say that could help us appreciate precisely what had happened in Catlettsburg, Kentucky?
Well, he began with this:
the Catlettsburg Police Department was within its rights to feature the decals, which are often “an ordinary governmental administrative decision.”
Bwuh? When we worry about the police displaying a character whose entire superpower is killing people with guns and torturing people with knives without bothering with such niceties as due process because, hey, he’s fairly sure they’re probably guilty of something, we are not worrying about the administrative authority of local governments over decal expenditures. For Freud’s sake, here.
Moreover, with a little more DeepThoughtsing, this lawyer takes the opportunity to contradict himself:
If the department is using an actual comic book character, I suspect this usage is an infringement of intellectual property rights, specifically the copyright held by the creators or owners of that character
So, when you said the Catlettsburg Police Department was within its rights to feature the decals, what you actually meant was that the CPD was NOT within its rights to feature the decals, although it was within its rights to give money to a decal maker?
Gosh, wouldn’t the fact that the CPD was NOT within its rights be kind of relevant to the question of whether the CPD was within its rights? Or is that too complicated for someone who runs a free speech center? No matter! This warrior for FREEZE PEACH is about to sum up, to tell us what REALLY matters:
The appropriation of that image might be more troubling than whatever the character may stand for.
That’s right, in FREEZE PEACH land, cops not knowing whether or not they owe royalties to Disney, and the tens of dollars of income Disney might therefore have been unlawfully denied, is “more troubling” than cops announcing to the world that they idolize someone whose vision of justice is kidnapping, torture, and murder without trial. Fuck the 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th amendments! If we allow a government agency to appropriate intellectual property in the process of declaring war on civilian citizens, who knows what might happen next?
They might as well put Batman or Superman on the cruisers while they’re at it.
A dystopian nightmare more frightening than Judge Dredd, if I’m allowed to say that.