Great news! I’ve just been notified by my friends at Cafepress that they are standing with me and the 1st Amendment, and have essentially told “Ready for Hillary” PAC to go suck an egg. So the bumper stickers, car magnets, and all that fun stuff are available nowhere.
Our decision to reinstate is based upon our concerns with the First Amendment implications raised by Ready for Hillary’s notification. As you are aware, at the core of the First Amendment is the freedom to engage in political speech and the principle that debate on public issues should be uninhibited. McFadden v. City of Bridgeport, 422 F. Supp.2d 659, 670-671. Indeed, commentary, criticism, and parody about politics, the political process and political figures are given the highest level of First Amendment protection. Further, speech conveyed through the use of messages on T-shirts and related items such as the bumper sticker about which Ready for Hillary has complained has long been held to be protected speech under the First Amendment. Ayres v. City of Chicago, 125 F.3d 1010, 1015. ). Such items have been held to be permissible avenues for speech, regardless of whether or not they are sold at a profit. See, e.g., Black Dog Tavern Co. v. Hall, 823 F. Supp. 48, 57‐58 (D. Mass. 1993) (“the fact that defendant’s parody t‐shirts are sold for profit does not alter the conclusion [of a diminished risk of confusion.]”); Smith v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 537 F.Supp.2d 1302 (N.D.GA 2008).
We appreciate your patronage of CafePress, and have provided a response to Ready for Hillary advising them that applicable law falls firmly in favor of the protection of your speech in this instance, and that we have reinstated the designs at issue accordingly.
Now, as far as I know right now, Hillary PAC has decided to ignore our demand letter for retraction of their takedowns. We clearly stated our intention to file suit on Thursday if they did not comply, and fully intend to do so as it stands.
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