Kansas City based ladies’ lingerie store, Birdies Panties, received a shock visit October 21st. The Department of Homeland Security.
In an effort to honor the home team Royals in the World Series, the owners of Birdies, Peregrine Honig and Danielle Meister, decided to make and sell women’s underwear sporting a “KC” logo along with the slogan, “Take the crown.”
And it worked. The ladies said that social media postings of the panties stirred up what was to them a surprising amount of demand. That is, until two plainclothes men showed up and flashed, no pun intended, DHS badges. What crime could a women’s underwear store commit to garner federal law enforcement scrutiny? Copyright infringement. The agents then proceeded to confiscate the unlawful unmentionables. In other words, they conducted a literal panty raid. A federal one.
As it turns out, copyright infringement actually does fall under the purview of the DHS. Enforcement of counterfeiting laws fell to the Customs portion of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when it and several other preexisting federal agencies were mashed together under the single banner of Homeland Security.
So food for thought. If you ever decide to pursue a career in the counterfeit merchandise industry, it won’t be local law enforcement or even the FBI you’ll need to worry about. Nope, instead you’re going to be contending with the same federal agency responsible for defending the United States from terrorism.