Monday, August 26, 2013

C Train Cafe? Transit Agency May Put Up Fight M.T.A. Guards Against Copyright Infringement; New York Times, 8/23/13

Matt Flegenheimer, New York Times; C Train Cafe? Transit Agency May Put Up Fight; M.T.A. Guards Against Copyright Infringement: "Powered in part by the rise of online shopping, which has helped small-time entrepreneurs market their subway-inspired creations widely, the transit agency now issues up to 600 notices a year for copyright infringements to protect trademarks on train line logos and other system imagery. That represents a more than twentyfold increase since 2005...Subway, rail and bus maps are copyright protected, and each subway line symbol is a federally registered trademark. Even in borderline cases — where a business uses a subway logo, for example, but alters the color scheme slightly — the authority often has wide latitude in issuing infringement notices “if there’s reason for confusion,” Mr. Heavey said...In 2010, Nordstrom received a letter from the authority after a dress emblazoned with a subway map was found in its online catalog. Transit officials were “pleased” that Nordstrom recognized the map as “a clever, colorful design that is fit for a silk dress,” the letter said, but less pleased about the copyright breach. A spokeswoman for Nordstrom said the dress was no longer available."

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