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Judge: "Sorry for Partying" Madison Mayor T-shirt okay

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A federal magistrate says a T-shirt with the official portrait of Madison’s mayor does not violate copyright laws, because it’s political commentary.

The T-shirt has Mayor Paul Soglin’s portrait with the phrase “Sorry for Partying.”

The apparel company Sconnie Nation and Underground Printing-Wisconsin produced the shirts for sale at the Mifflin Street Block Party – where hundreds of UW-Madison students celebrate the end of the school year.

Soglin has said he’d like to eliminate the event, because there’s too much outdoor drinking – and that spurred the “Sorry for Partying” T-shirts.

Michael Kienitz, who photographed the mayor’s portrait, claimed the apparel company violated his copyright. But Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker rejected the argument, calling the shirt political criticism allowed under the First Amendment.

About 160 of the shirts were sold.

One other thing about the Mifflin Street Block Party – the Wisconsin State Journal said Soglin was arrested in 1969 at an early version of the event, when he was going to school at the UW.