Thursday, June 19, 2014

Trademark tyranny

Regardless of your political affiliation, this should frighten you to your core.

In a major blow to the Washington Redskins, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday canceled six federal trademarks of the team name because it was found to be “disparaging” to Native Americans.

“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the Patent Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board wrote in a 2-1 decision.

I just re-read the Bill of Rights and failed to ascertain any inference or implication that someone possesses the right to not be offended. So basically what you have here is an agency of the U.S. government unilaterally deeming something offensive, thus punishing the Redskins' organization despite not a single solitary law being broken. That certainly doesn't smack of a free, democratic society to me.

Of course this flap wouldn't be complete without Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (who takes to disparaging the acts of lawful private citizens because he doesn't like their politics) doing his proverbial end zone happy dance. (emphasis mine)

“Daniel Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize this, but it’s just a matter of time until he is forced to do the right thing and change the name,” he said.

Sounds like a thinly veiled threat to me. If you don't acquiesce to what we, the government, decide is the "right thing," life will become difficult.

Say, here's a little exercise for ya if you have a minute. Go look up the dictionary definition of the word "tyranny," then ask yourself if it's applicable here. The answer may (or may not) surprise you.

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