A NY company, Fishs Eddy, sells dinnerware that features the NYC skyline and iconic NYC landmarks. The dinnerware is quite nice, actually.

But in July, they received a cease and desist letter from the Port Authority of NY & NJ:

http://hyperallergic.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/PANY-212-Pattern-Legal-Notice.pdf

I wonder how many of these items were sold before the letter? I wonder how many will be sold now? The news media has run with story, with coverage online, in print, and on TV.

The media likes the story because the Port Authority’s claims sure seem weak (at best). And they are picking on a small business. And if they can’t use representations of the Twin Towers or the Brooklyn Bridge in their dinnerware, just how far does the Port Authority think its rights extend? Can they stop someone from selling a photo of one of landmarks?  Or from selling an artist print featuring a bridge in the background? It is interesting that their letter doesn’t directly claim the violation of any specific laws.

Now, I bet that demand has skyrocketed. And the bad PR received by the Port Authority is likely far greater than any benefit that would have come from stopping the sale of these items. Hence, another case of the Streisand Effect!

For two great somewhat related stories, see Ron Coleman (at Likelihood of Confusion) on

Photo: Now we'll have some fans at the Port Authority!

image from Fishs Eddy Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FishsEddy

 


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