NY Port Authority Claims To Own The NYC Skyline: Tells Store To Destroy Skyline-Themed Plates

from the your-bullying-is-of-great-concern dept

What is it with insane NY-related bureaucrats and their attempts to “own” things? In the past, we’ve covered how New York State is a pretty big trademark bully over the “I ♥ NY” phrase, and did you know that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) claims ownership over the phrase “If you see something, say something”? And, now, we find out that the controversy-ridden Port Authority of NY and NJ appears to be claiming ownership of the NYC skyline. No joke. It apparently sent a cease-and-desist letter to Fishs Eddy, a housewares store in Manhattan that is selling some city themed dishes.

According to the Port Authority, Fishs Eddy can’t do that, because, dammit, only the Port Authority owns some of those buildings and bridges.

In a letter to Fishs Eddy dated July 24, Veronica Rodriguez, a lawyer for the authority, asked the store to stop selling anything with these ?assets? on them, and to ?destroy all materials, documents and other items bearing the assets.?

?Your use of the Port Authority?s assets on dinnerware and other items is of great concern to the Port Authority,? she wrote.

Yes, and your use of stupid bullying tactics over people celebrating your city is of great concern to pretty much everyone else. What sort of life must you lead to spend your work life looking for people to bully for daring to sell merchandise that celebrates the city you technically work for?

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Companies: fishs eddy

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Comments on “NY Port Authority Claims To Own The NYC Skyline: Tells Store To Destroy Skyline-Themed Plates”

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64 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

“The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place.”

17 USC 120(a)

TheResidentSkeptic says:

What's the commerce angle?

They are selling dinnerware, which is part of their primary commerce.

The port authority sells what? other than “renting out” corrupt politicians and law makers as part of their primary revenue source for their commerce… and giving contracts to “favored sons”…

So.. I don’t see the confusion in buying a dinner plate vs buying a corrupt politician or major contract … Even our favorite moron-in-a-hurry can tell the difference…

At least a dinner plate can be used and then cleaned… /sarc

Casey says:

Here is what the real issue is:

“Ms. Rodriguez wrote that Fishs Eddy ceramic ware “interferes with the Port Authority’s control of its own reputation.”

And it isnt the first time that groups have tried this with Fishs:

“Ms. Gaines faced a similar challenge to “212” in 1998, when Tishman Speyer Properties and the Travelers Group, owners of the Chrysler Building, demanded that she remove their landmark from the skyline and promptly destroy all remaining inventory.”

Personally, I would tell them all to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

…no-one is ever in control over their own reputation. Reputation isn’t the sole province of any one particular being. It has to do with how Party A sees Party B. There’s no way Party B can exclude Party from the equation.
If anyone was in control over their own reputation, then each person would be able to declare “I’m a great person” and sue everyone else the instant anyone said otherwise.

Michael (profile) says:

If you see something, say something

So if the MTA owns “If you see something, say something”, does that not mean that I could be violating their IP rights by actually saying something if I see something?

Thank goodness you have made me aware. I could have potentially made the mistake of seeing something and then violating their rights by telling someone about an impending disaster. You really have to do the math, on one hand you have the lives of hundreds of people on a subway and on the other hand, you have the 172% of Americans (based on their numbers) who rely on IP protection for their livelihood.

Kyle says:

In a letter to Fishs Eddy dated July 24, Veronica Rodriguez, a lawyer for the authority, asked the store to stop selling anything with these "assets" on them, and to "destroy all materials, documents and other items bearing the assets."

"Your use of the Port Authority’s assets on dinnerware and other items is of great concern to the Port Authority," she wrote.

Is Ms Rodriguez even serious? How is this even helping tourism to NY with this kind of thing going on?

Ok, here’s another solution: edit the skyline to eliminate those assets and reprint the skyline without them. There must be far more attractive buildings behind these assets that are probably more worth looking at.

Oh, and here’s another question: Is the port authority a government department / institution? If so, then the average Joe Citizen owns them by virtue of having paid taxes.

Zonker says:

Re: Re:

Ok, here’s another solution: edit the skyline to eliminate those assets and reprint the skyline without them. There must be far more attractive buildings behind these assets that are probably more worth looking at.

Better yet, replace all the Port Authority buildings on the skyline with dicks. Then advertise your dishes as “bowls of dicks”.

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