This year, New Orleans’ Superdome had the distinction of being protected not just by the Department of Homeland Security and 4,000 private security guards. More than 70 federal agencies working out of the Joint Operations Center at the New Orleans FBI office, ostensibly with the goal of stopping anyone who didn’t belong inside the “National Special Security Event”.
Included in the clusterfuck of alphabet security soup is one that should probably be an expert in the matter, but is somehow the exact opposite — Customs and Border Patrol. CPB posted a self-congratulatory release on their website this week:
When the San Francisco 49ers faced the Baltimore Ravens, fans in the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome probably did not realize the level of security that covered them long before they made their way into the stadium. They may have been unaware of the nearly invisible protected air space that blanketed the venue hours before the kick-off and well after they left the stadium.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) once again was part of the super security team supporting New Orleans in their efforts to host a safe and secure Super Bowl XLVII experience. As part of the team, CBP brings its operational experience and assets to support their federal, state and local law enforcement partners, the National Football League (NFL) and the community.
The rub? Two students from Savannah State snuck their way past the army of security and into the event sans tickets. Their technique was simple enough — wearing matching hoodies and exuding extreme confidence. They even video-recorded the whole exploit, Savannah Now has posted portions.
Priceless reaction after the duo waltzed by security: “They should have stopped us.”
How does a company get around copyright and trademark over-zealotry? By being bitter about intellectual property rights.
In Samsung’s commercial about making a SuperBowl commercial (so meta, you guys), Bob Odenkirk — best known as the lawyer Saul “better call Saul” Goodman from AMC’s Breaking Bad — asks comedians Seth Rogan and Paul Rudd to pitch ideas for some new product (flashed at us for only a mere three seconds).
The trio then spend the next minute hashing out how exactly to even make a commercial when they are muffled by legal precedent and unable to speak any of the trademarked names (they are constantly shushed by Odenkirk before they can finish them, but it’s clear what’s been unsaid). The Super Bowl becomes “the big game” and ultimately “el plato supremo”, while the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are re-nicknamed the “black birds” and the “fifty minus one-ers”. At which point they all laugh and embrace “hashtags” because twitter hasn’t been smart enough to trademark that term yet.
Samsung doesn’t deserve a free pass on intellectual property abuse themselves. Ironically, and rather hypocritically, Samsung has previously partnered with the International Olympic Committee — one of the most notorious trademark enforcers around the world.
And consider the following: If anyone made a widely broadcasted commercial without clearance (“hey guys, go download the new Hammer of Truth’s message notification buddy app widget thingie, which works awesome on my Samsung Android” *holds up $40 flip phone from 2004 for camera*), Samsung’s legal department would certainly be sending out cease and desist letters. For a company that has spent millions of dollars on litigating against the little guy, for them to hire three multi-millionaire actors to play the roles of potential chilling effect victims is only convincing… because they hired convincing actors.
Regardless, for a commercial focused on the inanity of legal hurdles involved in making commercials, it’s a well deserved poke in the eye of copyright laws.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what they’re selling.
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