The producers of a viral phenomenon urging the capture of a Ugandan warlord want you to know they will not be mocked.
After the activist group Invisible Children created the Kony 2012 campaign to arrest Joseph Kony, a group of New York University graduate students created Kickstriker, a parody of a Kickstarter page aping Invisible Children’s style. They wanted to take Invisible Children’s earnestness to the point of absurdity, through a (fake) appeal to crowdsource the financing of mercenaries to hunt Kony down. They critiqued what one of them described to Danger Room as a “new activism that puts the reader, the donor, the viewer at the center of the story.”
Invisible Children doesn’t think Kickstriker is funny. In fact, they’ve sent the Kickstriker team a cease-and-desist warning to take down the parody page.
“It has come to our attention that you are causing public confusion through your use of Invisible Children’s copyrighted and trademarked property on www.kickstriker.com. This impermissible use is a blatant and egregious infringement of Invisible Children’s valuable copyright and trademark rights,” reads a letter Invisible Children sent last week and acquired by Danger Room. “[F]ailure to cease and desist your unlawful use of Invisible Children’s intellectual property will result in legal action.”