May 25, 2006 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Who owns the Glaser "I HEART NY" logo? Is it copyrighted?

And how does one go about about copyrighting a variation?
posted by andrewyakovlev to Law & Government (6 answers total)
I think it's owned by some form of the state government, since I always see it mentioned alongside the state's official website.
posted by fvox13 at 1:19 PM on May 25, 2006

On closer investigation, it appears to be owned by the State department of economic development.
posted by fvox13 at 1:22 PM on May 25, 2006

I think that trademark is more relevant than copyright to use of the logo. Apparently even Glaser had trouble trying to use a variation of the logo he designed:
After 9-11, Glaser adapted his logo to "I ♥ NY More Than Ever" and added a stain on what he has called the "lower west side" of the heart. (Village Voice)
And from an interview in The Believer:
MG: I also have to say that a bureaucrat from the Commerce Department called me and said, “You know, we’d like to use that.” And the irony is, I had sent them the thing at the outset and they didn’t respond at all. So after it came out in the news, a bureaucrat from the Commerce Department called and he said, “We’d like to use the ‘I Love New York,’” I said, “Great.” He said, “But we’re not going to put the black mark on the heart.”

CK: What?!

MG: And I said, “Sorry, you can’t do it without the black mark on the heart, because that’s the whole point of it.”

CK: [Laughs]

MG: And he said, “We’re not going to put any black marks on our heart.” I said, “OK, so you can’t use it.” He said, “You know, you’re in violation of our trademark.” And my heart sank, and I said, “Yeah,” So he said, “So don’t try to use it in any way.”

CK: What! Now, wait, who is this?

MG: No, I can’t tell you.

CK: No, no, no, not names, but what does he do?

MG: Let’s just say it’s someone who’s involved with administrating the “I Love New York” logo and making sure that nobody uses it without paying for it, because years after we introduced it the state registered it. So now there’s an agency that gets money for every time “I Love New York” is used anywhere. I’d be very curious to find out how much money they’ve raised. I’d suspect it is significant. So anyhow—

CK: So you’re not bitter at all about not seeing any of it?
posted by mbrubeck at 1:31 PM on May 25, 2006

You can't copyright titles, names, short phrases, slogans, or designs. The "I Love New York" logo is a federally registered trademark and has been since the 70's. [video link]. As the comment above states, it is owned by the New York State Department of Economic Development.
posted by ND¢ at 1:32 PM on May 25, 2006

And how does one go about about copyrighting a variation?

You can't copyright a mere variation -- you couldn't just re-draw the logo, use a different color and copyright it.

At best, you could copyright something that falls under Fair Use doctrines, such as a true parody.
posted by frogan at 1:37 PM on May 25, 2006

« Older Songs for a World Cup CD?   |   Can anyone identify this photographic travel... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.