Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

October 2017 Archives

Parody, especially of public figures, is protected speech under the First Amendment. Parody Twitter accounts are a fact of life, as ubiquitous on that platform as fake news is on Facebook. There are over 50 parody Donald Trump accounts alone. While most people don't take parody accounts too seriously, most people are not the Miami Beach Police Department.

Officers from that department arrested Ernesto Orsetti after they discovered he was behind a parody Twitter account impersonating MBPD spokesperson Ernesto Rodriguez. Orsetti was charged with impersonating a police officer, and could be looking at 5 years in prison if convicted.

In the inimitable wisdom of Indiana lawmakers, 16 and 17 year olds can consent to have sex with adults, but they cannot receive texts with naked images of those adults. And in the inimitable wisdom of the Indiana Supreme Court, the absurdity of these conflicting laws can't save a teacher from a sexting conviction.

It's just the latest example of sexting legislation gone wrong.

Fruity fraud. Ripened rip-off. Peeled pretender. Banana sham?

When a company called Rasta Imposta sues Kmart, accusing the store of selling carbon copies of its copyrighted banana costume, the puns will follow, so we'll get them out of the way here. And while this may sound like an open-and-shut case of an object so ubiquitous as to defy copyright protection, wait until you hear what the Supreme Court said about cheerleading uniforms.