The Josh Hawley Mug: It Makes Him An Asshole, But Shouldn't Make Him A Copyright Infringer

from the hawley-shit dept

Josh Hawley, the waifish fascist Senator from Missouri, has made it onto our pages several times in the past. When he’s not advocating breaking up Twitter because he doesn’t like how a private company is run (fascist), or breaking up lots of other companies he simply disagrees with (fascist), you can typically find him pretending the First Amendment works the exact opposite of how it does in reality or explaining in published books and newspaper pages how much he’s been silenced and canceled. It might all look very stupid on its face, but it isn’t. It’s actually quite diabolical.  

Hawley is a graduate of both Stanford and Yale. And, sure, you can convince me that someone can graduate from both of those schools somehow while being an idiot, but that’s not Hawley. When he advocates for fascist policies and generally acts like a right-wing radio talk show host, it’s not because he’s stupid. It’s because he’s an assbag.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about the Josh Hawley mug he’s selling on his website.

See? He’s an asshole. In case you can’t see the image or don’t know what the issue is, that picture of Hawley was snapped by the AP and was him saluting the crowd of strange people protesting outside the Capital building because their preferred candidate lost. Some of those people later stormed the capital in a violent attempt to overthrow the will of the America people. Now Hawley, in a plain bid to generate outrage, is utilizing that picture of him saluting that crowd in order to raise campaign funds. Immediately after the launch of the mug product, his team sent out an email fundraising on it, apparently purely over the joy of making liberals angry, which appears to be one of Hawley’s major policy positions.

Everyone remembers the photo of profa senator Josh Hawley raising his fist to salute the murderous rioters who stormed the Capitol, injured 150 police officers, and tried to hang Mike Pence. Now Hawley is selling a curiously named “Show Me Strong White Coffee Mug” with the same image in an amateurishly designed graphic.

He says its a “perfect way to enjoy Coffee, Tea, or Liberal Tears!” and is “not a pro-riot mug.”

None of this is new or creative. The liberal tears thing is at least as old as Ben Shapiro saying it all the time and is probably older than that. The slogan is lame. And the picture, as Boing Boing goes on to note, is from the AP.

In addition, his mug uses an image based on an Associated Press photograph and is probably a copyright violation. AP told Rolling Stone that it’s investigating. As you might recall, artist Shepard Fairey used an AP photo of Obama a decade ago, and ended up paying AP an undisclosed amount to settle the copyright lawsuit.

And here is where we take the Techdirt turn. The Fairey case was settled out of court, but we argued all along the way that Fairey’s use should have qualified as fair use. I take the same view of Hawley’s use of an AP photo. The use is for raising campaign funds, rather than purely commercial use. The photo is being used as political speech. It’s at least mildly transformative, although not as strongly as Fairey’s, given that most people will recognize where that image is from. And, ultimately, Hawley’s mug represents zero threat to the AP’s business. The AP isn’t selling mugs with the picture on it to those that wish to drink liberal tears.

So while it’s fun to discuss what a jerk Hawley is, trying to pretend that we think this is copyright infringement just because I don’t like him would be disingenuous. And I, unlike Josh Hawley, am not that.

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Comments on “The Josh Hawley Mug: It Makes Him An Asshole, But Shouldn't Make Him A Copyright Infringer”

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This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

'I don't support insurrections, just those doing them!'

He says its a "perfect way to enjoy Coffee, Tea, or Liberal Tears!" and is "not a pro-riot mug."

… He says of the picture of him showing support for a bunch of deranged insurrectionists storming the capitol, but I suppose if you want to split hairs there is a difference between ‘riot’ and ‘insurrection’ so technically he’s correct, just not in a way that leaves him looking better.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: 'I don't support insurrections, just those doing them!'

Didn’t you hear? The was no riot or insurrection, it was just another day of tourists peacefully gathering. The damaged property, injuries and deaths didn’t happen, were the work of antifa or don’t matter because BLM protests did some damage the year before, depending on what evidence the person you talk to is trying to counter at the time.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Yesteryear's GiftShop

"Previously, Republicans had a coffee mug labeled "Member of the vast right wing conspiracy" back in 1998 in reference to an infamous Hillary Clinton interview segment."

I don’t recall the context of that since I’m not dumb enough to run in those circles. But, would she have been referring to the actual conspiracy from the right wing that has been hounding her and her husband for decades even past that date, spreading lies and innuendo with so little factual basis that the only time anything has ever stuck is when Bill was goaded into lying about a blowjob?

Or, was this another provable conspiracy you were talking about? I ask partly because I’m not in the US and so was never part of the AM conspiracy grift that caught the less intelligent before Fox and the internet fully took over after the date you described, and partly because I don’t trust the memories of anyone who’s been in that place for 3 decades. While it explains your usual comments here, the amount of brain rot from so many years of that stuff must be astounding.

David says:

Re: Re:

What do laws have to do with Josh Hawley? That’s not the point of outrage-shopping fascism where the demagogues aim to see themselves at the helm of an authoritarian repressive hierarchy that prioritises purported state interests above that of the actual constituents of the state, consequently crying for law and order only as much as it doesn’t apply to them.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Attributed to Lyndon B. Johnson:

"If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you."

Basically, the American Dream states that you can achieve anything you want to if you work hard enough. When people do this and they realise it’s not enough because the system is gamed against them, convince them that it’s not the system at fault, but that guy over there stealing from them – people will actively vote against their own interests to ensure that other guy doesn’t get ahead, even if it damages themselves at the same time. After all, you work hard and you’ll get there eventually when that guy isn’t able to stop you – and supporting social programs to ensure that everyone has a basic quality of life is socialism.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
David says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Why do people vote for the likes of Josh Hawley, as they are voting to become insignificant and disposable cogs in a system that benefits the top 0.1% of society.

But it’s their top 0.1% of society. Same reason original soccer club jerseys in size 5XL are a sales item. Same reason men will tell you women cannot think because there are so few in the top 100 list of chess players, never mind whether they themselves can tell a rook from a pawn or would stand a snowball’s chance in hell prevailing against a ten-year old girl from the local chess club.

People are fine getting screwed over as long as the person screwing them tells them they are on their team. They delegate their pride to the status of the people exploiting them.

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

"Its like Turkeys voting to become thanksgiving dinner."

See PaulIT’s comment, just above.

But there’s another explanation as to why the republican base keeps voting against their best interests which acts in perfect synergy with his explanation. I’d suggest googling "grievance addiction", "what the science of addiction tells us about Trump", and if you want a DHS study to underline it "Addicted to hate: Identity residual among former white supremacists".

Essentially the current GOP base are junkies on the natural high of hatred they’ve been weaned on since childhood courtesy of republican and alt-right media. They keep voting against their own interests in exactly the same way as the junkie who keeps making horrible life choices (like renting a fridge and pawning it, stealing from their s.o. or embezzling from their company, to get ready cash) in order to secure access to their next fix.

Sticking it to the libs is just them putting the needle in their own arm and pressing the plunger. They need that fix no matter what.

This is why you can’t argue with them. Trying to bring reason to the table is literally you threatening to take the needle or crack pipe from their hands.

IAmNotYourLawyer (profile) says:

what's good for the goose

While I normally disfavor broad application of copyright, I’m willing to flip given that a US Senator is directly involved. If the rest of us have to put up with the twisted results the current copyright regime causes, I’m happy to that he gets to "enjoy" them too.

I hold a faint hope that if actual lawmakers directly feel the impact of the current copyright regime, then maybe we’ll see some reform.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: what's good for the goose

This is why revenge is dangerous. "I got hit by a rock after someone slammed their car door near an avalanche-prone mountain. The next time Josh Hawley and I are near the same mountain, I’ll slam my car door."

I hold a faint hope that if actual lawmakers directly feel the impact of the current copyright regime, then maybe we’ll see some reform.

It won’t work and it’s not worth the risk of exacerbating terrible copyright enforcement. Lawmakers often don’t have that kind of empathy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: what's good for the goose

It won’t work and it’s not worth the risk of exacerbating terrible copyright enforcement. Lawmakers often don’t have that kind of empathy.

As loath I am to let copyright fucktards get their law feet in the door, it’s also true that they’ll only learn when they get hamstrung by the dumbass shit they asked for.

Chozen says:


Do you honestly thing that calling everyone to the right of Carl Marx a fascist accomplishes anything?

" Twitter because he doesn’t like how a private company is run (fascist), or breaking up lots of other companies he simply disagrees with (fascist), you can typically find him pretending the First Amendment works"

The same could be true for anyone on the economic compass not squarely on anarcho-capitalism. Anyone 0.1 to the right or left or up or down is a fascist according to you. So I guess we are all fascists.

Modern Capitalism comes from Adam Smith who was writing about the failed system of the time which was very much like modern silicon valley. Instead of a thriving competitive economy you had large near monopolies controlling their niche’ of the economy then using their influence on government and policy.

Adam Smith argued for the break up of these large companies and opposed them because of the influence they were having on policy.

So I guess by your definition Adam Smith was also a fascist.

John85851 (profile) says:

Show me strong white

I’m still trying to figure out if the phrase "show me strong white" is some kind of veiled racist message.
The website could have done a much better job of separating the phrase "show me strong" from "white coffee mug". Actually, they didn’t need to include the word "white" and just let customers select a color.

Anonymous Coward says:

You DO realize that breaking up problematic companies...

…is NOT fascism, right?

Fascism is the literal merger of business and government with businesses doing what the government wants while the government protects the businesses from any blowback and other problems.

Have you ever heard of "Anti-Trust Laws"?

Those have existed for over a century and were used to break up problematic companies in the past.

It seems to me that you’re using fascism to describe something it’s not, Timmy boy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wanna know who else is an A hole?

Timothy Geigner, Tim Cushings, and Mike Masnick for writing pro Biden administration aritcles so they could get into office, murder innocent people civilians, exit Afghanistan forfeiting 80+billion dollars of tax payer military equipment, wage an anti-russia propaganda war so they could label everyone who opposes their pro-war rhetoric with Russia a "Russian Putin Puppet", provide weapons to Nazi Ukranians Azolf Batallion who at this very moment are murdering innocent Russian speaking men women and children in Donbas, label everyone who supports the ant-mandate in Canada as nazi’s, and label everyone who protested on Jan 6th a terrorist! And finally, so they could call anyone who didn’t want Joe Biden in office because he was a war criminal a TRUMP SUPPORTER! That’s who these A holes are!

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