My father who happens to be a retired SEAL went to Publix supermarkets today to have a cake made for a celebration this weekend at their local American Legion. Part of the decorations of the cake included pictures of the SEAL emblem and also a picture of a purple heart medal. The clerk at the counter refused to allow the pictures of the emblem or medals citing copyright law which is complete and total crap. She even went so far as to show my dad the "official printed" Publix policy on these things. Federal copyright law however is VERY specific about such things.
"Works produced by the US government, or any government agency or person acting in a government capacity, are in the public domain. So are the texts of legal cases and statutes from state or federal government. Private contractors working for the government, however, can transfer copyrights to the US government."
This includes pictures of medals, emblems and seals created by and used by the government. In essence you can't copyright or prohibit someone from using something that you own at least in part. Every single taxpayer is an owner as we ARE the government owners.
Now I don't know if this clerk had a thing against the military or if she was just quoting some corporate desk jockeys implementation of a bad company policy I do know one thing....I won't be buying any more Publix cakes (and I buy a bunch of them each and every year for personal and business use).
Bottom line this is bad business and Publix needs to fix this wrong immediately. Publix can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if they want to discuss the matter. Until then I'll take my business elsewhere!