A deranged leftist woman has sent a cease-and-desist threat to Rep. Steve King (R-IA) claiming she owns a popular meme that he used in a fundraising request.
Laney Griner, whose son has been used in a fist-bumping meme that has become popular over the last decade, is using lawfare in an attempt to malign Rep. King, whose pro-Western beliefs have made him into a pariah to the liberal media.
“I recently learned that Iowa Representative Steve King is using my copyrighted photograph of my minor son Samuel known as ‘Success Kid’ to raise money in a ‘Fund our Memes’ online campaign, also implying that he has some kind of ownership in it,” Griner wrote in a Tweet.
“Representative King and his campaign staff appropriated ‘Success Kid’ without my permission. ‘Success Kid’s’ is about positivity and celebrates achievement. Neither I, my son, nor ‘Success Kid’ have any affiliation with Representative King,” she added. “Representative King should remove ‘Success Kid’ from his webpages immediately, issue a statement to acknowledge that the image was taken without our permission and endorsement, and refund the money his campaign received from misusing ‘Success Kid’.”
Griner is part of a growing movement of money-grubbing hucksters who claim ownership over a meme and then punish and extract money from people who use it.
This was previously done with Pepe the Frog in order to stop the viral spread of the popular right-wing meme by forcing high-profile people who shared it to pay cash settlements:
The creator of Pepe the Frog, the cartoon character co-opted by the alt-right for Nazi and pro-Trump memes, has sued the the right-wing conspiracy theory site InfoWars for copyright infringement.
In a lawsuit filed in California federal court, Pepe’s creator, Matt Furie, alleges that InfoWars unlawfully used the character in a poster that features the frog, InfoWars host Alex Jones, former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, Donald Trump, the slogan “MAGA,” Kellyanne Conway, Roger Stone, and others. Furie alleges that the poster promotes “a message of hate.”
Furie is seeking unspecified damages, attorneys’ fees, and a permanent injunction against InfoWars to prevent the site from ever using Pepe again. Furie’s attorney, Louis Tompros, said InfoWars has not yet formally been served with the lawsuit, but that he had sent the site a copy…
Furie’s attorneys sent cease-and-desist letters to some of the most prominent players in the alt-right and pro-Trump sphere in September. Tompros called the letters “very successful” and said that all but one of the recipients had complied.
“Our goal is to make sure no one feels like they can associate Pepe with images of hate and think they’ll profit from that,” Tompros said. “That’s what we’re trying to stop. Ideally, it would stop right away.”
The meme police are out to destroy the 1st Amendment and digital freedom of expression through lawfare, and Rep. King is the latest victim of this sinister leftist conspiracy.
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Turkey Human Rights, Crackdown on Press Freedom Comes Under Renewed Scrutiny in Geneva
Last week, the UK-based International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR)and the Press Emblem Campaign held an information meeting in Geneva, to coincide with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Turkey over hate crimes, minority, and LGBT rights, and press freedoms with a specific focus on the nation’s crackdown on these rights during the failed 2016 coup and the emergency rule that followed during which the government allegedly used its security powers to arrest thousands of people who opposed it.
Turkey’s human rights record was last reviewed in 2015 during the UPR. This was the third time in 10 years that Turkey’s record has come under review
Diplomats, minister, prominent members of Turkish media and human rights defenders – including those who have been forced into exile – were present at the event. Also in attendance was former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice Ambassador Stephen Rapp. Louise Pyne Jones, head of research, International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR) moderated the event. Two panels were held. The first was called “Press Freedom” and included Yavuz Baydar, editor-in-chief of Ahval; Evin Baris Altintas, journalist and blogger; and Massimo Frigo; senior Legal Advisor for International Commission for Jurists (ICJ). The second panel, “Human Rights Defenders,” included Dr. Sebnem Korur Fincanci; president of the Human Rights Foundation in Turkey; Nurcan Baysal, award-winning Turkish Human Rights Defender and Journalist; and Anne van Wezel, former co-chair EESC EU-Turkey Joint Consultative Committee.
Following an attempted, and failed, “coup” against the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party in 2016, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused many of his opponents and naysayers, including journalists who were critical of him and his government, of supporting terrorism and prosecuted many of them. Erdogan also suggested that the attempted coup was the work of exiled Imam Fethullah Gulen and his movement, which Turkey considers a terrorist organization. Turkey has asked for the United States to extradite Gulen. Gulen has been living in the United States in a self-imposed exile since 1999. Over 250 people died as a result of the failed coup attempt.
Soon after the coup, Turkey implemented a state of emergency (SOE) which it said: “was put into effect in order to ensure the continuity of effective implementation of the measures for the protection of the rights and freedoms of our citizens, democracy and the rule of law.” However, the AK Party’s critics have maintained that the AK Party used the umbrella of its broader emergency powers and continuously postponed ending that state of emergency, in an attempt to destroy its political opposition.
Many journalists were apprehended under this state of emergency until it was lifted on July 19, 2018. As such, for three straight years, and up until 2019, the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Turkey as the worst jailer of journalists in the world. According to Turkish, English, and Arabic-language news site Ahval, when China jailed 48 journalists to Turkey’s 47.
Nurcan Baysal, an award-winning Kurdish Human Rights Defender, Journalist, and contributor to Ahval, said she was even cautious with the words she used on the panel discussion for fear of punishment by the Turkish government. “We are censoring ourselves because of these fears,” Baysal said. “For example, before coming here I asked myself if I should use certain words, should I use the word invasion, or should I use the word war, because today in Turkey even to say war is forbidden,” she said. “Everything that I say has an effect on not only my life but of the lives of my children and family.”
Ahval editor in chief Yavuz Baydar said, “No state or power can decide who is a journalist, it is the domain for professional organizations and should always be separate from power.”
According to the IOHR, “In the previous UPR cycle of Turkey, the Turkish government officially supported 14 recommendations related to strengthening the legal framework on freedom of expression and 5 recommendations specifically related to bringing terrorism legislation in line with international human rights standards.
Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch recently said, “The huge number of journalists, politicians, and perceived government critics in prison and on trial flies in the face of the Turkish government’s public statements about the state of human rights in the country “Turkey’s disregard of human rights is a disservice to its citizens, who deserve to live with dignity and freedom.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s state-run pro-government newspaper the Daily Sabah put out propaganda about the Erdogan government writing, “U.N. Human Rights Council highlighted Turkey’s achievements in the fields of judiciary, human rights and humanitarian causes on Tuesday during a Universal Periodic Review (UPR) meeting in Geneva.”
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