Your Tax Dollars at Work: FBI Battles Wikipedia over Logo

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has contacted Wikipedia over the use of an FBI logo on a page dedicated to the history of the crime-fighting organization.

The FBI claimed that the logo accompanying an entry in the online encyclopedia was an “unauthorized reproduction of the FBI Seal” and “prohibited by law,” according to the BBC. The FBI’s letter stated that “Whoever possesses any insignia…or any colourable imitation thereof..shall be fined…or imprisoned… or both.”

Apparently offering the logo in four different sizes also posed a crisis, as the FBI stated that this was, “particularly problematic, because it facilitates both deliberate and unwitting violations of restrictions by Wikipedia users."

Wikipedia lawyer Mike Godwin fired back at the FBI, saying there was a difference between the words “problematic” and “unlawful.” Godwin indicated that Wikipedia would deny the FBI’s demand to remove the seal, adding, “The seal is in no way evidence of any ‘intent to deceive’, nor is it an ‘assertion of authority’, recognisable or otherwise.”

We thought perhaps the FBI had turned their attentions to this important matter in light of catching every criminal on the loose, but a quick check shows that the FBI Ten Most Wanted list is still populated with active fugitives.

Via SlashDot

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  1. 0
    lomdr says:

     I think those were licensed because the director of the FBI wanted to get an anti-drug message out to the "impressionable youth" in the late 80’s-the end of the 90’s.

  2. 0
    PeterWDAwson says:

    Didn’t the FBI seal show up in opening bits for several old arcade games talking about winners not using drugs? I’m seriously not fully getting what the FBI is trying to do here. It literally seems to me like they just now decided to be dicks.

  3. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "We are compelled as a matter of law and principle to deny your demand for removal of the FBI Seal from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons," said Mr Godwin adding that the firm was "prepared to argue our view in court."


    Good on you, Godwin.


    Andrew Eisen

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