June 21, 2008

Look Out Below

Are the Ramones illegal?

Posted by Dr. Frank at June 21, 2008 05:36 PM | TrackBack


That's punk.

Posted by: L at June 22, 2008 01:10 AM

While I am a supporter of Obama, I think that his seal does probably break the law, while the Ramones does not. The "false impression of sponsorship or approval by the Government of the United States or by any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof" part of the law makes me think that Obama might be trying to convey some implied governmental endorsement, or at least lending credence to his own campaign by portraying it in reference to the office of the president. I don't think anyone in their right mind could think the Ramones were doing this, though. Unless irony counts, in some backwards way, as some kind of an endorsement, as if making fun of a certain thing like the government or certain parts of the government, or drawing comparisons between the aesthetics of a punk band and the governmental policies of the United States, offers a kind of endorsement in a negative way. As opposed to, "The government endoreses Obama, therefore so should you," this negative endorsement would read, "The government finds the Ramones to be loud and obnoxious, therefore this only makes them cooler." Kind of like thinking a band is cooler because your parents don't like them. Anyway, it makes sense in my head.

Posted by: Nate Pensky at June 22, 2008 02:53 AM

I agree with Nate. The Ramones use of the logo was/is based in satire. Their satirical use of it is protected. That standard was adopted by the supreme court in the 1980's when they ruled that Larry Flynt was able to use the logo and name for a wine company (I can't remember the name of the company) and the name of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell in an ad in Hustler that was unflattering to the reverend (it depicted Falwell in incest with his mother). All nine justices ruled that since it was so ironic and satirical, that it did not violate the law. Obama's case might be different, though, for reasons stated by Nate.

Posted by: David at June 23, 2008 06:59 AM