A Kansas City lingerie shop owner was alarmed to find Homeland Security agents at her shop Monday morning, demanding she hand over illegal panties that she intended to sell in honor of her hometown baseball team.
Peregrine Honig, co-owner of Birdies Panties in Kansas City, told The Kansas City Star that she thought the panties, onto which she’d hand-painted a “K” and a “C” and the words “Take the crown,” would be a fun way for fans of the Kansas City Royals to support the team in the World Series. Unfortunately, the Department of Homeland Security didn’t see it that way.
“They came in and there were two guys. I asked one of them what size he needed and he showed me a badge and took me outside. They told me they were from Homeland Security and we were violating copyright laws.”
The illegal panties, it seems, had run afoul of Major League Baseball’s copyright. How and why Homeland Security got involved in the illegal panties matter is not clear as of this post, but clearly they weren’t fooling around: according to KSHB (Kansas City), the Homeland Security agents even handcuffed the printer who printed the panties.
“It’s a lot to co-own a small lingerie store and feel like a criminal for printing crowns and KC on blue, cotton, American-made underwear. It seems like a lot.”
The problem, according to KSHB, was that the “K” and the “C” were connected, making the image on the illegal panties look too much like the Kansas City Royals’ logo. That was the point, but Major League Baseball apparently takes underwear-based copyright infringement seriously.
This is not the first time copyright enforcers have gotten a little, well, overzealous. Perhaps most famously, the Walt Disney Company forced preschools in Florida to remove the likenesses of Disney characters from their walls. But the Big Daddy of overzealous copyright enforcement has to be the RIAA, which has sued grandmothers and even confiscated the Winnie the Pooh laptop of a 9-year-old music pirate.
For their part, the Homeland Security agents involved in the illegal panty raid weren’t exactly thrilled with their job assignment that day, according to co-owner Danielle Meister.
“[The Homeland Security agents] felt like they were kicking a puppy.”
Despite the illegal panties seized by Homeland Security, the Kansas City Royals still fell to the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the World Series, losing 7-1.