When Lawyers Send Letters

Kony 2012 Sends Cease & Desist Letter to NYU ITP Students Behind Kickstriker

Brilliant PR move, y'all.
screen shot 2012 05 04 at 1 40 21 pm Kony 2012 Sends Cease & Desist Letter to NYU ITP Students Behind Kickstriker

(Photo: Kickstriker)

Oh good, the folks behind Invisible Children’s botched Kony 2012 campaign are at it again. After the highly-criticized campaign’s frontman Jason Russell was caught running around the streets of San Diego naked, the campaign tunneled underground to avoid further scrutiny. But now they’re back in the news for a pretty silly reason. Turns out they have a few choice words for the NYU ITP students who started Kickstriker, a Kickstarter parody that imagines a world where crowdfunded wartime might be possible. College kids, amiright?

Wired reported yesterday that Kony 2012 has sent a cease and desist letter to the Kickstriker team, alleging that they are “causing public confusion through your use of Invisible Children’s copyrighted and trademarked property on http://www.kickstriker.com. This impermissible use is a blatant and egregious infringement of Invisible Children’s valuable copyright and trademark rights.”

Kickstriker purports to send you Joseph Kony’s skull upon his capture if you pledge $1,000,000, so if Kony 2012 is alleging that people will actually believe Kickstriker is a real thing, they have very little faith in human reason.

Kickstriker, for its part, appears only amused by Invisible Children’s efforts. In a letter obtained by Wired, they fired back at Kony 2012’s lawsuit threat, writing, “The purpose of our website, Kickstriker.com (henceforth ‘Kickstriker’), is to critique a number of institutions, including Invisible Children, through the use of political satire.” Kickstriker contends that their use of Kony 2012’s assets is legal under the fair use act.

Kony 2012 seems to have some serious public image issues. After all, if we’ve learned anything from The Oatmeal’s dustup with Charles Carreon, it’s definitely that the best way to engender Internet support is by lodging more lawsuits against beloved projects. (SMH)

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