Rebecca from the Electronic Frontier Foundation sez, "More news about the Yes Men and the Chamber of Commerce. BoingBoing reported on the lawsuit the Chamber filed over the activists' political criticism of the Chamber's stance on climate change and the Chamber's DMCA takedown attempt. Now it's official: EFF and Davis Wright Tremaine, LLP, will defend the Yes Men and other activists involved in the action. As EFF Senior Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry says: "The action was a brilliant piece of political theater, but it had a serious purpose: calling attention to the Chamber's political activities. This is core political speech, protected by the First Amendment." Next step in the case -- a response to the Chamber's complaint is due later this month in the U.S. District Court for District of Columbia."
"The action was a brilliant piece of political theater, but it had a serious purpose: calling attention to the Chamber's political activities," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "This is core political speech, protected by the First Amendment. We're very pleased that Davis Wright Tremaine -- with its long, successful history of protecting free speech rights of Americans -- has joined us in helping these activists battle a transparent attempt at censorship."
"U.S. courts have recognized that political parody lies at the heart of the First Amendment," said Davis Wright Tremaine LLP partner Bruce Johnson. "Even if the party parodied refuses to giggle--or even panics and sues--free speech will ultimately triumph. We look forward to a prompt dismissal of this case and a reaffirmation of the rights of all Americans to poke fun at the pompous and powerful."
The Chamber has pulled out all the stops in its effort to silence the activists. First, it sent an improper copyright takedown notice to the Yes Men's upstream provider, demanding that a parody website posted in support of the action be removed immediately and resulting in the temporary shutdown of not only the spoof site but hundreds of other sites hosted by May First/People Link. Next, the Chamber filed suit against the activists in federal court, claiming among other things the activism infringed their trademarks.