FBI to Wikipedia: Quit Using Our Seal
|Breakin' the law, breakin' the law...|
According to the Feds, reproducing the staid seal that FBI Director Robert Mueller III might have on the breast pocket of his warmup jacket is against the law: "Whoever possesses any insignia ... or any colorable imitation thereof ... shall be fined ... or imprisoned ... or both," reads the FBI letter.
Easy access to the seal by users of the popular website, the FBI continued, was "particularly problematic." Wikipedia's lawyer, Mike Godwin, replied that "problematic" and "illegal" are not synonyms.
|FBI seal, FBI seal, FBI seal, FBI seal...|
He claims the FBI omitted key portions of the relevant law in its letter -- and misinterpreted the law to boot: "The enactment of [the relevant laws] was intended to protect the public against the use of a recognizable assertion of authority with intent to deceive," he wrote. "The seal is in no way evidence of any 'intent to deceive', nor is it an 'assertion of authority', recognizable or otherwise ... We are compelled as a matter of law and principle to deny your demand for removal of the FBI Seal from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons." He assures the Feds he's ready to make this argument in court if need be.
|'Fixed it for you,' reads the Wikipedia file|
A visit to Wikipedia's FBI entry this morning, meanwhile, reveals the satirically altered image to the right.
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