If I were ever stupid enough to run for public office, I know one group of lawyers to avoid at all costs: Seattle-based Garvey Schubert Barer. Apparently the bright boys there decided to issue Wikimedia with a take-down order for putting up pictures of copyrighted campaign materials from the Bernie Sanders campaign. (source: https://boingboing.net/2016/01/15/facepalm-bernie-sanders-campa.html)
Never mind that the whole point of campaign stickers and buttons is to have them displayed as widely as possible.
Never mind that including pictures of campaign materials in an encyclopedia is clearly covered by fair-use doctrines.
Apparently Garvey Schubert Barer hires idiots. I wonder whether they will make a public apology for doing something stupid, but they’re lawyers, so I doubt it—they probably still think that they can make a case for it being the “right” thing to do. The takedown order has been withdrawn, but the media storm about it is just about to start.
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would conjecture that this was not the act of an incompetent and idiotic lawyer (though, in the real world, that is the most likely explanation). Instead, I would conjecture that the lawyer who did this was paid under the table by some rich guy who feared that Sanders might win the election, after all the money he had spent to buy Clinton’s favor. (The Republican candidates were all bought and paid for decades ago, and their handlers are unlikely to attack Sanders in this way, because in their bubble chamber Sanders can’t win—he has no billionaires backing him, and everyone in their world knows that anyone who isn’t a billionaire is a loser—just ask Trump.)
I understand that the Clinton campaign is starting to attack Sanders, which I think is a strategic error. Part of what has been making the Democrats electable is that they have been behaving like adults, rather than petulant toddlers like the Republican candidates. In fact, I think that a lot of Democrats have been secretly hoping for Sanders/Clinton double-bill, with the primary mostly about who gets top billing. I know it goes against the grain of American politics to have a competent person as a vice presidential candidate—but it would be nice to have two competent people, either of whom would make a good president, working together as President and Vice President. If the Clinton and Sanders campaigns start throwing mud or engaging in dirty tricks, then it will be nearly impossible to put together such a winning ticket.
Personally, I’m rooting for Bernie, as is most of the town I live in (Santa Cruz has been described as The Leftmost City), as I am tired of center-right politicians like Obama and Clinton being described as leftists or socialists. Why does the media allow the wingnuts on the far right to redefine the “center” far to the right of where the center really is?
We need to get more progressive politicians at the state and national level, to undo the damage that has been done by the concentration of wealth and privilege in the hands of a very small group of greedy men. Bernie Sanders is one of the few progressives who has survived Washington with his honor mostly intact. (Barbara Boxer is another, but she seems to be withdrawing from electoral politics and has rather tepidly endorsed Clinton, as a show of support for female politicians.)