Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Is Sarah Palin A Crack HO?
Well obviously Palin is not a "Crack HO" but a prank was recently spotted that used a url redirect from http://www.crackho.com/ which then pointed to her official website.
A simple prank against former GOP VP nominee and current Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has finally come to the attention of Alaskan authorities, resulting in a cease-and-desist order as well as somewhat misdirected copyright claims. The owner of the site in question has caved to legal pressure, although one has to admit that the whole series of events was worth a chuckle.
Houston-based DJ Shu Latif registered Crackho.com ages ago (according to a Whois search, 1998), but decided to give the site a fresh face in 2008 after Governor Palin was chosen as the Republican Vice President nominee. She changed the redirect settings so that all traffic to Crackho.com would go directly to Sarah Palin's official website.
The change apparently flew under the radar until earlier this month, when Alaska's Attorney General Michael Barnhill sent a letter (PDF) to Latif demanding that she knock it off. Clearly, Barnhill and gang have no real understanding of URL redirects in general, because the letter asserts that Crackho.com made illegal use of the official seal of the State of Alaska without permission, and that Latif was in violation of the federal Copyright Act. Nevermind that the seal was on Palin's own site.
Latif must have been feeling especially kind, because she has since changed crackho.com so that it does not redirect to the governor's website. Instead, she merely uses an illustration of Palin and a link to the site instead. However, we can't help but wonder what would happen if she chose to push back—she wasn't misusing any copyrighted images or even hosting anything herself, though it's possible that Palin's lawyers might argue that she somehow "misrepresented" the site and its trademarks by directing traffic through Crackho.com.