Donald Trump goes after anti-Trump clothing Web site
Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.
I worry about Donald Trump.
He’s just so much. How can anyone be so much and not, at some point, run out of, well, energy?
Still, despite being embroiled in another entertaining feud with Fox News, he’s still had time to go after something he may feel is just as iniquitous: a clothing Web site.
The site happens to be called StopTrump.us. It sells fashion paraphernalia with motifs such as “Donald Dumb” and, yes, “Stop Trump.”
You will want to grab your childhood blanket and wrap yourself tightly into it when I tell you that the Trump Organization has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the site, claiming that to sell T-shirts that insist Trump should be stopped, the site should have first asked the great man’s permission.
Perhaps he’s merely hurt, as he would of course had said, “Go right ahead. Invoke your First Amendment rights on your fine T-shirts, my friends.”
Perhaps there’s gold buried within my IKEA sofa.
I’m not a lawyer, but my life-addled instincts tell me that there may not be much of a legal case here. Eugene Volokh is a lawyer, however, and an expert on free speech law at UCLA. In a Washington Post article, he sniffed: “Trump doesn’t have a case here.”
He then explained that there is surely no trademark confusion, nor is there any trademark dilution.
Trump’s distinctive brand is surely enhanced not only by some people’s opposition to it, but by his natural opposition to so many others.
I’d like to even suggest that by launching this threat he is trying to enhance his brand.
Volokh, however, added that the accusation of cybersquatting made by Trump’s lawyer amounts to diddly-squat. He says that no one is going to think that StopTrump.us is a site created and supported by Donald Trump.
Of course, one reason that wealthy, powerful people make legal threats is merely to frighten smaller, less powerful people. It’s like a buffalo grunting at a sparrow.
In the meantime, one imagines that StopTrump.us — like the Donna T. Rumpshaker sexy costume, is enjoying brisk sales.
Some might also imagine that there’s truth in the words of Fox News contributor Rich Lowry. After he suggested that Carly Fiorina had taken a knife and castrated Trump in the last debate, the great man became upset.
To which Lowry replied in a tweet: “man, you can dish it out but you REALLY, REALLY can’t take it.”