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Thursday, July 17, 2008



This is a stupid use of Trademark law...........shame on the elephant party.

Rhymes With Right

Given that the elephant logo long predates the application for trademark status, and the use of the initials "GOP" to refer to the Republican party has been a linguistic standard for well over a century, I question the validity of the trademarks themselves. After all, both appear to have been in the public domain more or less forever, and it is therefore difficult to see how the RNC could claim ownership of either.

Freedom Rings

Elephant destroyed by one Cafepress Shopkeeper in rebuttal to the recent C&D GOP logo issue- Too Funny!

David W.

Interesting. You know the Republican Party does have a right to protect its copyright which means that those shirt which say "I'm proud to be GOP" and stuff like that may fall under this copyright.

However, there is a great license for satire which is thoroughly protected by the First Amendment. This is especially true of political satire. And that license even allows the use of copyrighted material if it is used in satire and used to make a political statement.

So, the Republican Party may actually be successful in removing the pro-Republican shirts that simply display the three-star elephant or such phrases as "Proud to be GOP". Yet, fail to remove the anti-Republican shirts that display the three-starred elephant or the letters GOP.

I'm thinking of going to CafePress and designing a couple of t-shirts myself. Something like "Hey GOP!, I'll give you my t-shirt when you pry it out of my cold dead hands."


This is truly idiotic. I'm not a fan of Republicans, but the majority of uses of the elephant and GOP are positive. Are they going to print their own elephant t shirts for people to wear and show their affiliation? Please.


I think the ultimate goal is to dumb down politics so it's not a matter of discussion (or headlines). My observation has been the GOP/RNC uses a several prong approach when attacking something directly (free speech) would be unpopular and create too much of a backlash. In this case they are seen as stupidly shooting themselves in the foot, creating few headlines.

If they are successful, the ink wouldn't dry before they went after their critics with all the ammunition they had; "We don't allow that", "not civilized", every argument they've used to eliminate the public from protesting or hearing the president speak in public. The spin machine would be in full force to head off any protests.

Since the majority of the population has no way to know they are the majority, the cultural norm would instantly be changed such that making political statements about policy issues (or facts) wouldn't be acceptable. That's the basis for political discussion and the majority of information we'd get would be about the latest tabloid scandal. That's the GOP ideal. It's hard to motivate anyone to vote without issues -and just the issues they want us to know about.

The thing is that they think their copyright issue would be 'under the wire' enough (with everything else going on) that won't create headlines or get much attention (true) and have it effectively accomplished before the elections. Congress probably won't see this as an issue to make a stand on.

From what I've observed of the GOP marketing machine, they are probably right. Even a successful defense of Cafe Press won't stop them from using spin to pressure GOP friendly groups to comply. They win either way. The GOP is hard for the average person to believe could happen here. It's the disbelief that realists are fighting. Your job is to create headlines.

With this kind of planning, staging and implementation, it's hard to defend the fact that the GOP hasn't been able to win a war against an impoverished, disorganized nation had few defenses less than one third the size of Texas.

Gary O

Umm... well, we elected them. We should be shot. Seems to me the RNC lawyers are screwing the RNC. But, they get paid to screw them. Trouble is, the members seem to be too dumb to see it.

Paul Alan Levy

Certainly if the DNC were to be dumb enough to send this sort of cease and desist letter, and then not reply to efforts to compromise, they would deserve the same response, and I personally would be anxious to do that case too.

As it happens, there is a variety of anti-Democratic material on the CafePress site -- indeed, some of the items that the RNC is trying to suppress express hostility to the Democrats (see the link to all of the challenged images near the end of my post), such as two images of smirking gray elephants, one pissing on "Hillary" and the other on "Liberals."


Let's try the same thing with the Democrats. I expect the same response. Wake-up we are ruled (yes ruled) by the Republicrats/Demoblicans/Oligarchy. Money talks and the rest of us walk. As long as PACs and such are allowed to buy votes WE ARE SCREWED.


If they were wise, they'd open their own shop on CafePress. In addition to our affiliate shops, we have a political shop on the list they gave as well. I have no problem removing the design, just as I have no problem ceasing my contribution to the party if they continue down this idiotic line.

Right Wing Girl

Bad move by the RNC. Yes, of course I'll side with Cafepress, being that my shop is on their hit list, but with good reason.

I went to great care to do my own version of the elephant logo, so as not to just rip off their logo. All of my designs are supportive of the Republican party. I've made a couple donations to John McCain's campaign with the money I've earned in T-shirt sales.

Personally, I think they should embrace Cafepress.com, and have them do a GOP T-shirt contest...tap into the 6.5 MILLION users of Cafepress and stir up some excitement for the Republican party. Not unlike the "artists for Obama" campaign going on. Think of all the good press that would stir up? And not to mention, some winning designs that the RNC could then sell...they could actually set it up with Cafepress to earn a small percentage of all sales relating to the RNC/GOP...funds that would go directly to the Republican party!

I do hope they come to an agreement & I hope the RNC realizes that this could end really bad or really good. And it's all up to them.

Rebecca Tushnet

Paul, this is a great entry and a great issue, but I have one minor quibble: I'm really pretty sure that the man on his knees in the toilet stall is not "peering in."



Hmm... That's interesting. What's even more interesting is reading this article in light of the fact that in Washington State, some of the people running for partisan government positions (e.g. Dino Rossi) have chosen to run under the GOP flag, while others have chosen to run under the Republican flag. I wonder why?

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