This used to be a great country. You used to be able to print up panties with the Kansas City Royals logo on the butt and the worst that could happen would be a cease and desist letter from Major League Baseball. Now? Print up panties with the Kansas City Royals logo on the butt and you get raided by Homeland Security:
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, printed in Kansas City by Lindquist Press.
“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.”
It may be fun to laugh at the panty raid, but take a step back and realize how messed up it is that government agents are out there enforcing private copyrights like it was a criminal matter. For most of our history, copyrights were enforced through the civil justice system, not by a unit of government agents dedicated to fighting “intellectual property crime.” A unit, it appears, that was created at the behest of entertainment companies, not because there was any sort of public outcry or criminal scourge imperiling the general peace and welfare. And, of course, a unit that is run out of the same offices where fights against terrorists and stuff are waged.
I feel safe now, citizen. Don’t you?
In any event, Birdies Panties — the purveyor of the pirated panties — probably shouldn’t have made those things given that they didn’t have the right to do so. But you gotta feel bad that The Man came in and took all of their merch like that. So, in the interests of sticking it to The Man, please go buy a pair of underpants or three from them.