Zazzle Pulls Fake NSA PRISM Program T-Shirt For Intellectual Property Infringement

Turn on your radio-activated tooth fillings and cover your windows in aluminum foil because someone – no one knows who, for sure – has asked that Gawker writer Max Read’s homemade NSA PRISM T-shirts be removed from the Internet. Read created the t-shirts as a joke, selling a grand total of three items before Zazzle shut down his store after citing “infringement claims.”

The T-shirt uses the NSA PRISM logo which itself was stolen without attribution from a photo made by a British television host named Adam Hart-Davis. The logo originally appeared in the Powerpoint made by NSA spooks to explain their exciting new project to potential software partners.

It is technically against the law to make merchandise bearing federal logos (but the law is laxly applied) so Read is technically in the wrong. But really? What shadowy cabal of intellectual property holders contacted Zazzle to have the t-shirt pulled? What’s to stop a mild-mannered reporter from creating his own NSA shirt? Does our nation’s security apparatus really have so little else to do than pull rank on Zazzle? I’ve contacted Zazzle directly but I suspect their press office is currently being muzzled by threats on their lives and the lives of their families (or is enjoying a nice Saturday afternoon). Either way, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”

UPDATE – Zazzle wrote:

Zazzle provides an open marketplace where user-generated content can be used to create a wide variety of products and apparel. By its very nature, the platform thrives on creativity and the opportunity for people to share their designs with the world. When a product is brought to our attention that violates our terms of service, we take swift action to remove it. We encourage the Zazzle community to use our platform to share their creativity, and we ask that they continue to maintain an open dialogue with us to ensure Zazzle features only the highest quality merchandise for our customers.