What Donald Trump’s Micropenis Can Teach You about Free Speech

“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.” – Donald Trump to Page Six on April 3, 2011.

“If they’re small, something else must be small,” [about Marco Rubio referring to his hands and genitals,] “I guarantee you there’s no problem, I guarantee you.” – Donald Trump at the March 3, 2016 Republican Primary Debate in Detroit, Michigan.

Donald Trump is not one to take the high road and let an insult to his manhood go unchallenged. So, it comes as little surprise that when Los Angeles based artist Illma Gore painted a nude portrait of him, Donald Trump, or at least his people, took an interest. The artwork, a censored version of which is shown below, shows a nude Donald Trump, face contorted in the midst an undoubtedly newsworthy quote, micropenis smugly displayed (uncensored version here). Titled “Make America Great Again,” Gore first shared it on Facebook with the tag line, “You can be a massive prick, despite what is in your pants.”

You're welcome for the =/

“Make America Great Again” [censored] – Courtesy of Illma Gore – http://illmagore.com/

Although Trump’s campaign has not officially commented, Gore says a person claiming to represent Trump called her in February of 2016 threatening to sue if she sold the artwork, specifically citing Trump’s right of publicity. Considering The Donald’s litigious reputation, it’s not an outrageous claim. Continue reading

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Graffiti Counts 2: Why Freedom of Speech Doesn’t Save Katy Perry’s MET Gala Dress

Back in August, we covered the outrage surrounding Katy Perry’s attire to the Annual Met Gala. The scandal was twofold, first, Perry’s gown featured an avant-garde graffiti design when the Gala theme was clearly “Chinese exhibition,” and secondly, the graffiti design was taken and used without the artist’s permission, constituting copyright infringement. Ergo; our last post focused on the legality of graffiti, as a clearly copyrightable work, framed in terms of the public sphere versus the public domain, and moral rights. Rime, who created the stolen work, sued Italian luxury fashion house Moschino, and now Moschino has formally responded.

Yeesh.

Katy Perry in the gown at the 2015 Met Gala with the Moschino Creative Director

What did the Five Fingers Say to the Face? SLAPP!

On December 7, 2015, Moschino filed a motion to strike the entire complaint pursuant to California’s Anti-SLAPP statute. SLAPP stands for Continue reading

Mais, non! France Rejects Google’s Appeal over “Global” Right to Be Forgotten Order

Google and France are at odds over the right to be forgotten, unsurprisingly. In previous posts, we discussed the right to be forgotten and its inherent tension between privacy rights and American freedom of the press and speech. We also covered the initial implementation of the right to be forgotten within Europe, focusing on implementation issues stemming from Google’s “local” removals that only apply to the EU, e.g., <<Google.fr>>, as opposed to removals from all of Google’s over 200 domains. Continue reading

Forgive and Forget or Live to Regret? Google Evaluates One Million Links for the EU’s Right to Be Forgotten

In a previous blog post, we covered the drama surrounding the right to be forgotten (aka the right of individuals to have personal information removed from the internet that they find embarrassing, harmful, or potentially stigmatizing), its express adoption in the EU, and Google’s alleged obligation to investigate.

Since last spring, Europeans have been able to submit a demand to Google to have search results about their names removed, Continue reading

Shark Week v. Shark Fest: Comparative Advertising at its Best

It’s that time of the year again- Shark Week! The Discovery Channel’s annual week devoted to sharks of all sorts has changed from simply raising awareness to becoming the longest-running cable television programming event in history. Running annually since 1988, it’s become such a pervasive part of the pop-culture lexicon that it shows up in memes, drinking games, and even other TV shows.

So, you may have been surprised to see this NatGeo WILD advertisement come up on your TV. Continue reading