Monday, August 25, 2008

Another Problematic Page on Obama's mybarackobama Web Site

Well, they just can't help themselves anymore. The official My Barack Obama web site, now featuring Joe Biden is hosting another problematic web page sponsored by Obama supporters. This one, "Boy Scouts for Barack Obama" is illegally using the Boy Scout logo and name and it is inappropriately using the Boy Scouts of America to promote a political candidate. The group also has some issues with the language, this is their Group Profile: "We are Boy scouts that want to use our rights to make this country a better place." On the other hand the Profile may just be living down to the pejorative "Obamabots."

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) web site is pretty clear on the use of the BSA logo and image:

Please note that in 1916, in order to protect the proprietary marks of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the U.S. Congress granted the BSA a federal charter (36 USC ยง 21 et. seq.), which gives the BSA "the exclusive right to use emblems, badges, descriptive or designating marks, and words and phrases [the BSA] adopts."

In effect, almost any logo or symbol that reasonably relates to the Boy Scouts of America or its program is protected. Accordingly, anyone seeking to use any symbols, words, or phrases that might reasonably be related to the BSA and its programs should contact the Boy Scouts of America Legal Department...

Interestingly Troop 632 in Pensacola, Florida had to issue a reminder to their Scouts on the subject of "uniforming", particularly at political events. It seems that during the 2006 campaign President Bush spoke at a rally in Pensacola that was attended by some Boy Scouts in uniform and as Kim Sheldon, the District Executive wrote, "(u)nfortunately, some of the public observing the media coverage perceived this to be a partisan demonstration by the Boy Scouts for the Republican political candidates President Bush was there to promote." In a summary of BSA rules and practices Sheldon wrote, "Scout uniforms shall not be worn to political events or rallies, protests or demonstrations where its appearance could reasonably be used to imply BSA support for a particular political cause or candidate."

So just two short years ago members of the Democratic Party whined and complained about a few Boy Scouts who wore their uniforms to an event featuring the President of the United States, today the Democrats illegally use the Boy Scout logo and name in an attempt to elect Barack Obama President of the United States. According to the My Barack Obama web site this group of 240 "Boy Scouts" has made 3,721 phone calls, they have yet to knock on any doors and they have raised $9,642.40. This Ladies and Gentleman is not what Scouting is about, this is Chicago politics, plain and simple. Get used to it, the election is still 70 days away.

The folks at reported on this issue last month and My Barack Obama continues to host Boy Scouts for Barack Obama. The always prepared Boy Scouts do have this helpful line on the BSA web site: "If you are aware of the unauthorized use of these trademarks, please contact the BSA immediately by linking to Use Form."

I should give thanks to commenter fgfm who got me on the trail of whether or not McCain was ever a Boy Scout, he apparently wasn't. However I did stumble across the previously linked post on Boy and Girl that discusses Obama and McCain on volunteering and it also discusses the Obama campaign's use of the Boy Scout name and insignia. Thanks fgfm.


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