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Supreme Court Decision on Disparaging Trademarks

Kendo 2

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In an AP wire report, a Supreme Court ruling on Monday 20.06.2017 reaffirms that 'offensive speech' is Constitutionally protected free speech.  The unanimous 8-0 ruling is a major victory for those with dissenting opinions.  Basically the ruling boils down to 'you might not like what I have to say but I have the right to say it' AND the U.S. Government doesn't have 'speech' as defined by the Constitution.  Not only will this affect trademarks as in the context of the case, but the ruling can also be applied to state and local governments trying to enact 'no hate speech' or 'anti-cyber bullying' legislation.



In the context of on-line communities, safe spaces and personal preferences as moderation tools are already out-of-date concepts.  NSFWMods never took on the mantle of sheepherder in an effort to protect members' feelings or to shield them from the internet at-large.  We are part of the storm, not a safe harbor from it.  The Supreme Court ruling reinforces our preexisting stance on the behavior standards of the NSGWMods membership; aside from a few baseline rules to keep the site running smoothly, we don't have behavior standards.  Freedom of speech and expression are key elements to what makes NSFWMods what it is; a 180 degree pivot from the established politically correct staff directives and their forum culture.


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For those of you who care about such things, here is the Court's full opinion.  Skip down to about page 32 for the judgements of Justices Alito and Kennedy.

One aspect of this case that hasn't hit the media yet (if it ever does) is the connection between Federal funding for colleges and universities and those institutions inhibiting or in some case prohibiting Constitutionally protected free speech.  The government could stop federal subsidies for institutions that are not in compliance or withhold student grants and loans associated with those institutions.  Basically 'You can stop free speech but we're not giving you any money if you do, and we won't give kids grant money if they go to your school.'

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