The official poster logo and artwork used for our national conference in Dallas in 2013, “Fifty Years is Enough! Free the Files, Find the Truth”, showing the famous Kennedy half dollar issued in 1964 with a bullet hole and blood and the conference title slogan above, with a reference to our website was specifically and exclusively designed for our use and for the conference by former JFK assassination researcher and advertising expert Gene Case. Permission for exclusive use by COPA was given by Gene’s widow, Sylvia Rodriguez and by the artist who designed the poster.
It has come to our attention that certain individuals have appropriated the image for use, often without reference to COPA as the source, without prior permission or request. We ask that they cease and desist in such unauthorized use, regardless of their intent.
Some argue that anything posted on the Internet is somehow fair game for download and use without even asking. In our view this not only violates the intellectual property rights of the artist and the creator but also breaks the rules of common decency and courtesy. Some continue to defend their use on the grounds that COPA needs to post notice to deny them the right to do these violations. If so, consider this such a notice.
Continued use after being informed that permission was denied in our view dishonors Gene Case, the artist and the serious research community COPA represents, and is a form of political opportunism that should not be encouraged.
COPA and other members of the research community have long been involved in the struggle to free the files regarding the Kennedy assassination, and in fact this guided the formation and work of COPA from the beginning.
Our member organizations were responsible for both the passage and the implementation of the JFK Assassination Records Act, and continue to push for full release of files under that act or by any other method.
We have spent decades using FOIA requests and lawsuits, appeared in public forums of government agencies tasked with release, including the ARRB, NARA, PIDB and the NDC as well as the specific agencies withholding the files to demand expedited release. We have at times taken part in public demonstrations focused on the release of these files, not the least being our annual Moment of Silence held in Dealey Plaza on November 22.
We welcome and encourage others to join us in this effort if they are sincere and if they want to work together with those who have been involved for many years.
We also welcome any and all public demonstrations and other pressure put on the government for full disclosure and release of records if done in a legal and nonviolent manner by those whose agenda is simply such transparency in the historical record.
We will not sponsor or endorse individual actions that conflict or compete with our announced annual events or the actions of those who misuse our name, wrongfully appropriate our images with or without asking permission, or demonstrate an opportunism by planning events without reference to or cooperation with the existing body of researchers and organizations who have worked on this issue for so long.
Calling for “working together” after making the planned actions and themes solely by themselves, defending conflicting events with no interest in the harm done, and continuing to defend unprincipled actions is the definition of political opportunism in our view, and an attempt to wrongly lead or take credit for the majority public support for release of the JFK files with no history of working on the issue, and in contempt of those who worked for decades to build that support.
We call on COPA members and the serious research community to withhold cooperation with individuals and groups who demonstrate this sort of opportunism. We also, again call on everyone to cease and desist in reproduction, reprinting or any use of our conference poster, artwork and slogan.