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FBI has problems with Wikipedia

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has sent a letter to Wikipedia stating that “unauthorised reproduction of the FBI Seal was prohibited by US law”.

FBI Seal

Am I going to jail ?

Is the FBI making fun of itself ?? I find this just funny. The FBI knows that Wikipedia is just for educational purposes and that they have almost all government seals from all parts of the world in their site. Also the FBI seal is found all over the internet not just Wikipedia.

So, lets say that for some odd reason its against the US law to use the FBI seal for any purpose at all other then their own use. What was FBI doing all these days ?? Wikipedia is such a popular site and only NOW they notice it? And these guys are supposed to be a credible investigation agency. Come on!

The FBI also wrote “Whoever possesses any insignia…or any colourable imitation thereof..shall be fined…or imprisoned… or both,”

Wikipedia hit back saying that FBI lawyers just “misquoted the law”.

The issue centred on the FBI’s Wikipedia entry which, in addition to information on the US bureau, also features an image of the “Seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation”.

The image can be viewed in four different resolutions, including a high-resolution 2000px version.

The FBI said that this was “particularly problematic, because it facilitates both deliberate and unwitting violations of restrictions by Wikipedia users”.

It is not yet know why the FBI has singled out Wikipedia, when the FBI seal is published on numerous other websites.

In response, the lawyer for Wikipedia – Mike Godwin – wrote back to the bureau saying that there was a big difference between the words “problematic” and “unlawful”.

“The enactment of [these laws] was intended to protect the public against the use of a recognisable assertion of authority with intent to deceive.

“The seal is in no way evidence of any ‘intent to deceive’, nor is it an ‘assertion of authority’, recognisable or otherwise,” he wrote.

Mr Godwin claimed that the FBI letter sent to Wikipedia omitted key words, which changed the interpretation of the law.

“We are compelled as a matter of law and principle to deny your demand for removal of the FBI Seal from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons,” said Mr Godwin adding that the firm was “prepared to argue our view in court.”

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