(Jacob Bruns, Headline USA) Enraged by the financial and political success of former President Donald Trump in the wake of his iconic mugshot photo, never-Trumper leftist legal scholars have come out of the woodwork to condemn Trump for violating copyright laws via the sale of merchandise with his own mugshot on it, the Atlanta Black Star reported.
The mugshot photo originated when Trump was detained at a Fulton County Jail last month after being charged, along with 18 of his allies, for racketeering in connection to his alleged attempt to meddle with the outcome of the 2020 election, similar to election-challenge actions perpetrated by Soros-backed DA Fani Willis, who is prosecuting the case.
Trump posted his mugshot to Twitter soon thereafter. Since that time, his campaign has made millions selling t-shirts adorned with the former president’s mug.
Naturally, Trump’s success enraged America’s elites, who rushed to insist that he was engaged in foul play. Leading the way was CNN’s Trump specialist, Kate Sullivan:
The Trump campaign has raised $9.4 million since his mug shot was taken at the Fulton County jail, according to Trump spokesman Steven Cheung, who says they’ve made $1.7 million off of selling T-shirts with the mug shot printed on them.
— Kate Sullivan (@KateSullivanDC) August 30, 2023
Sullivan was joined by Betsy Rosenblatt, a legal expert and university professor at Case Western Reserve University.
According to Rosenblatt, mugshots cannot be used for just anything “without authorization.”
“You’re prohibited from reproducing it, making a derivative work of it, distributing it without authorization, or that is to say distributing anything that isn’t the one copy you already lawfully have, and various other things,” she continued.
The legal scholar’s mouth watered as she pondered the “fascinating possibilities” that the situation presents to leftists interested in waging lawfare.
Ultimately, Rosenblatt noted, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office owns the copyright.
“But it’s also reasonable to think that the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office might think, you know, this is a public document, it belongs to the world in a way, [the] copyright belongs to us,” Rosenblatt explained, hinting to the office that there may be legal ways to proceed against Trump.
Ultimately, however, Rosenblatt suggested that it may not be worthwhile to pursue given the “expense and trouble of hiring copyright counsel,” as well as the “sending out takedowns and cease and desist and letters, or in lawsuits.”