Aug 042010
 
 August 4, 2010  Featured News, Online

John D. Sutter reports:

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has threatened Wikipedia with legal action if the online encyclopedia doesn’t remove the FBI’s seal from its site.

The seal is featured in an encyclopedia entry about the FBI.

Wikipedia isn’t backing down, however. The online encyclopedia — which is run by a nonprofit group and is edited by the public — sent a chiding letter to the FBI, explaining why, in its view, the FBI is off its legal rocker.

Read more on CNN.

So we’re back to take-down notices over use of images for non-deceptive purposes? Many web sites use such images as “eye candy” for their stories or articles and I doubt if anyone has ever thought, “Wow, the FBI must approve of or have written this story.” In this case, the image appears as part of an encyclopedic entry. Given the timing of this notice, it sounds a bit, well, just harassing.

Dan Solove blogs about the letter on Concurring Opinions, calling the FBI’s claim “ridiculous.” PogoWasRight.org concurs. Elsewhere, a number of lawyers are calling for a solidarity campaign on using the seal on their blogs and web site. Scott Greenfield posts some links posting the following image:

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