Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

The Cost of a World Trade Center Image

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 10.07.16 AMAccording to the Port Authority:

Fishs Eddy, a well-known housewares store at Broadway and 19th Street, is “unfairly reaping a benefit from an association with the Port Authority and the attacks” of Sept. 11. How? By selling two lines of goods — “212 New York Skyline” and “Bridge and Tunnel” — that are adorned with fanciful, cartoonish depictions of the twin towers, the new 1 World Trade Center and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, labeled with their names, all of which the agency claims as its own assets.

The Port Authority, the steward of the very idea of 9/11, and all that surrounds and permeates it, is correct in disrupting the production of obnoxious tourist bait like New York City-themed housewares, but it is clearly thinking too small in its prosecution of the sanctity of the skyline of New York City and the policing of who is allowed to derive profit from it.

Has the Port Authority considered the vast scale of the wealth of imagery of the new World Trade Center and 9/11 memorial that is captured and posted to social networks every day? For free? With the sophisticated image recognition algorithms developed for products like Google Image Search, YouTube's automated copyright enforcement, and Facebook's facial recognition products, it would be trivial for Instagram or Facebook to detect iconic images of the World Trade Center and allow the Port Authority to extract the proper tithings owed to it and the families of 9/11 victims (who would, of course, be exempt from paying). Every photo posted of the World Trade Center to Instagram or Facebook or Twitter is fundamentally for the social profit of the individual posting it, and like all profits, it comes at the expense of others.

4 Comments / Post A Comment

ianmac47 (#218,037)

How is the Port Authority supposed to fund the patronage mill for Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo without extracting licensing fees from retailers? Just imagine if these guys had to have their cronies paid through taxpayer funded jobs with their states rather than an independent agency like the Port Authority.

ejcsanfran (#489)

Disruption is the key to effective marketing.

hershmire (#233,671)

Never Forget(TM)
(to pay your IP licensing fees.)

Niko Bellic (#1,312)

"The Port Authority, the steward of the very idea of 9/11"

There is nothing more American than stealing ideas from naive foreigners to bank on them on a scale the original creators could never imagine. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed must be pissed.

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