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Settlement reached in NSA parody T-shirt case

NSA shirt

An image posted on LibertyManiacs.com’s Facebook page Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014.

In December, we told you a settlement might be near in the case of the Minnesota man issued a cease-and-desist letters against his merchandise satirizing the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security.

On Tuesday, it finally happened.

Quick summary: Dan McCall runs LibertyManiacs.com, which sells T-shirts, mugs and posters with images he creates, often with satirical messages. Among his targets were the two federal agencies, which sent the cease-and-desist letters to the California company that prints a lot of McCall’s designs on merchandise. McCall filed suit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore in October, alleging the NSA and DHS violated his First Amendment rights.

Under terms of the settlement agreement, the federal agencies will send letters to the design printer “acknowledging McCall’s designs were intended as parody and should not have been viewed as conveying the impression that the designs were approved, endorsed or authorized by the NSA.” (The letter was included as part of the settlement agreement in the court filing.)

In exchange, McCall will dismiss the lawsuit and acknowledges the settlement agreement “shall never at any time for any purpose be construed as an admission” of liability, according to the settlement agreement.

If McCall plans to create another T-shirt based on the experience, nothing has been posted yet on his website. But he did post on a note on the website’s Facebook page after the settlement was announced.

“Victory!” McCall wrote.

(HT: In the Loop)

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