Another day, another cease and desist letter:
The New York Stock Exchange now claims that you have to get their permission (express or implicit) before you use images connected to the New York Stock Exchange. So if you find a wire photo of the trading floor and use it to illustrate a story on Wall Street, you’re violating the NYSE’s trademark because they’ve trademarked the trading floor itself.
TPM is represented on Media and IP matters by extremely capable specialist outside counsel. And we’ve been advised that the NYSE’s claims are baseless and ridiculous on their face. But this is yet another example of how many large corporations have given way to IP-mania, trying to bully smaller companies into submission with inane and legally specious claims of intellectual property rights.
And of course good for TPM for having extremely capable specialist outside counsel. And good for TPM’s outside counsel for being so capable. But not only is this kind of IP bullying a form of rent-seeking by the bullies, it diverts social resources into things like being extremely capable specialist outside counsel for TPM on frivolous claims. There’s an urgent need to recenter policy, debate, and legal precedent in this sphere on advancing legitimate public interests rather than the interests of lawyers and incumbents.