quasi in rem

Friday, March 12, 2004

MoveOn.Org Sues Senator John Kerry for Copyright Infringement

MoveOn.org, a liberal activist group has filed suit against presidential candidate John Kerry for his use of the phrase "crooked and lying group" in describing the Bush administration. MoveOn.org is seeking injunction relief to prevent the Senator from ever using the phrase again as well as monetary damages.

"Untrue and inflammatory slogans are really our bread and butter, " stated MoveOn founder Wes Boyd. "If the Kerry Campaign is going to take our slogans then our donors and volunteers will just bypass our organization and go directly to the Kerry campaign."

The complaint alleges that the group was calling President Bush and Vice President Cheney "crooks and liars" as early as August 2000, two months before the 2000 election, and has consistently slandered the administration with the charge ever since. The organization is also seeking a stay to prevent John Kerry from comparing President Bush to Nixon and from charging he was AWOL.

The Kerry campaign has not responded directly to the suit, but the candidate has refused to retract the statement. "This is a candidate who means what he says, and says what he means, " stated campaign spokesperson Steve Elmendorf, "unless it concerns his votes on the Defense of Marriage Act, the first Iraq War, the second Iraq War, NAFTA, No Child Left Behind, the Patriot Act or defense appropriations."

"We want Kerry to win the election, of course," Boyd stated "but when he appropriates our ridiculous assertions and claims them as his own, it really hits us right in the pocketbook. If he takes our schtick then we really have no reason to exist, other than to funnel large amount of illegal soft money into his campaign in violation of McCain Feingold, of course."

As a peremptory action, MoveOn.org has filed for copyright protection on the slogans "Bush is a Nazi", "Bush is Hitler", "Bush is Worse than Hitler" and "Bush will eat your babies." "If he takes those, we might as well turn out the lights and go home," stated Boyd.

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