|The PRISM logo, |
as published by The Guardian
|Allegedly infringing PRISM T-shirt|
|PRISM CAT T-shirt, |
available on Zumiez.com
- A US Government work is not subject to copyright in the US and there are no copyright restrictions on reproduction, derivative works, distribution, performance or display of the work.
- You cannot use US government trademarks [although there are several PRISM trademarks registered with the USPTO, none of them seem to be owned by the US government] or the logos of US government agencies [eg the NSA?] without permission.
- Works prepared for the US government by independent contractors [is this the case of PRISM?] may be protected by copyright, which may be owned by the independent contractor or by the US government.
- While a US government work is not protectable under US copyright, the work may be protected under the copyright laws of other jurisdictions when used in these jurisdictions [eg the UK, since The Guardian disclosed the logo?]
- Finally, three years ago the FBI asked Wikipedia to take down the FBI logo from the relevant entry, citing the law which prevents anyone from manufacturing, selling, or possessing any badge, identification card, or other insignia, of the design prescribed by the head of any US department or agency.