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NYSE Sends Cease and Desist Letter To News Organization

Roblimo posted more than 3 years ago | from the run-and-hide-whenever-you-see-a-camera dept.

Businesses 131

An anonymous reader writes "Apparently, the New York Stock Exchange has registered a trademark for their trading floor, and they claim that no one can use a photograph of the trading floor without permission."

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Take it to court (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264644)

Fight it all the way. Taking a picture of something that is open for a news story is perfectly allowed.

Re:Take it to court (2)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264772)

From a public standpoint, this kind of action by the NYSE smells of desperation. A desperate need for money something which you would think the NYSE would not want to put out to their trading public. You would think that any perceived revenue that same ass hat bean counter seeking a bonus and the disingenuous lawyer seeking fees would be pretty small compared to the image they are putting out to the market. They are so desperate for income they want to charge for photographs of the internals of their building. Investors might need to take a long hard look at the future prospects of the NYSE, perhaps senior executives in their greed have bitten to deep when it comes to bleeding the rich and greedy.

Re:Take it to court (2)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266020)

Yeah, this is a clear sign that the NYSE is decaying from inability to adapt. The whole idea that we should have people shouting across a densely-packed floor to trade securities is obsolete and they should have done who most other such exchanges did long ago: go fully electronic. The fact that someone today can still become a better trader via better shouting and physical skills is severe inefficiency and anachronism.

More and more the NYSE is acting as a gatekeeper and monopolist, making its money from its laurels and historical pedigree rather than from providing an optimally effective exchange.

Fuck 'em.

Re:Take it to court (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264812)

You'd think so, but people have successfully argued for trademarks on images of e.g. the exterior of the Empire State Building.

The real overreach here is the NYSE thinking that a trademark means they get to control all use of the trademark. In reality, trademarks only cover uses that could be confused with legitimate use.

If TPM were to open a stock trading floor, then they'd have something to worry about. As a publisher, they have as much right to publish photos of the NYSE floor as they do the Windows logo in a relevant article.

Re:Take it to court (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264894)

>>>Taking a picture of something that is open for a news story is perfectly allowed.

Not inside a private building. If the owner wants to close it off to outside photographers, they have every right to do so. (And no it's not like a mall or restaurant, which are legally defined as "public facilities".)

Re:Take it to court (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265054)

True but claiming trademark is kinda of a stretch. They don't want photographs inside the building that's fine; but considering newspapers have published photographs of the trading floor since the technology of printing photos has existed, legally TPM could claim that the NYSE has been negligent with enforcing their trademark.

Re:Take it to court (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265900)

Claiming a trademark on it is perfectly fine. It means that Nasdaq and the London Stock Exchange can't use the photo in any of their promotional materials. Newspapers quite often print trademarks when publishing stories about the trademark owner. That is a perfectly legitimate use of a trademark. Nobody is going to pick the Washington Post and mistake it for the New York Stock Exchange.

Re:Take it to court (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266446)

But in this case the NYSE is trying prevent a blog/news site (not a competing exchange) from using photos. If the NYSE does not pursue trademark violations against the Washington Post, they cannot pursue them against TPM. The main difference between the two sites is political leaning.

Re:Take it to court (1)

Br00se (211727) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265062)

Their only option would be to ask the photographer to leave and put them on trespass notice. They would not gain any control of the images taken, those become protected property of the photographer as soon as the image is recorded. Malls are restaurants are treated the same way.

It sounds like they are trying to Trademark the floor itself in an attempt to prevent photographers from photographing it. That is BS, even if the Trademark is upheld, using it in a news story is an acceptable use of the Trademark.

Other trademarked structures are photographed all the time, there are guidelines on how they may be used, but news organizations are given a lot of latitude.

Remember that Trademarks are primary designed to protect consumers and to prevent confusion in the marketplace.

Re:Take it to court (2)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265126)

The NYSE trading floor is a secured and private location -not open to the general public.

Don't invite newspaper photographers inside if you don't want pictures taken. Once you let them in to take pictures you can not tell them how to use those pictures (barring the existence of a previous contract). The pictures belong to the photographers, or their employers, not to the NYSE.

Re:Take it to court (1)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266126)

I can take pictures of the inside of buildings all day long that I have been allowed into. Once I have those pictures, I can use them. They can PREVENT me from taking photos while I'm in there in the first place, by asking me to leave any cameras at the front desk, sign a form stating that I won't take pictures, etc. But trying to stop me from using pictures that I already have is crap.

Say no to facepalm (4, Funny)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264654)

Maybe they don't want anymore facepalm shots, reflecting the true economy, eh?

Re:Say no to facepalm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265098)

maybe his facepalm wasn't related to his work, but the completely unrelated forclosure on his house.

Hey Everybody! Come See How Good I Look! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36264674)

Oh, you took a picture of my handsome handsomeness? That'll be $4, please. - www.awkwardengineer.com [awkwardengineer.com]

Almost makes sense... (0)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264678)

The NYSE has a reputation to uphold, like any other organization. The trading floor is as recognizable at the Coca-Cola ribbon, so why shouldn't it be a trademark? The C&D was referring to an article that could harm NYSE's reputation, so why should the organization just sit idly by and be tarnished? Perhaps more to the point, why should they let a trademark be diluted, facing potential problems later?

I see nothing to be outraged about here.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264726)

Especially considering their reputation isn't tarnished already. I mean, it's not like they are partly responsible for one of the worse recessions in 100 years.

Re:Almost makes sense... (3, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264976)

NYSE is an exchange company. They are not investors, they do not tell banks to accept bad loans, and don't really do much of anything that caused the recession. Blaming NYSE is like blaming Ford for a bank robbery, because the robbers drove a Ford getaway car.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265322)

Mod parent +1 good analogy

Re:Almost makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265440)

Every individual on that trading floor is a market maker and uses their personal accounts to make markets. There is a conflict of interest there that has been allowed since the beginning. The Specialists on the floor control the entire economy and control every movement of their stocks. They collude with each other as well and have breaking news about their companies before anyone else. They are also privy to insider information.

If the market panic sells, and they want the stock to stay up, they just absorb the selling. If they want it down, they use the short sale. They don't even have to borrow the stock to initiate a short position closed during the trading session.

Just simply moving the price through pivot points is usually enough to nudge it into moving on its own.

These activities are why the market is confusing... Why sometimes the most devastating news doesn't bring a stock down much and why sometimes they shoot to the moon over something trivial.

Surely ./ readers aren't going to come out and say that the government would never allow this kind of behavior.

http://www.bearfactsspecialistreport.com/

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Princeofcups (150855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265442)

NYSE is an exchange company. They are not investors, they do not tell banks to accept bad loans, and don't really do much of anything that caused the recession. Blaming NYSE is like blaming Ford for a bank robbery, because the robbers drove a Ford getaway car.

They are also a publicly traded company. That right there is the problem. It's like blaming Ford for a bank robbery because the executives at Ford are band robbers.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265782)

because the executives at Ford are band robbers.

Isn't band robbery what the RIAA organizations engage in?

Do they allow high frequency trading? (1)

jeti (105266) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265538)

If they allow high frequency trading, they're making a profit from destabilizing the economy. It's time for a tax on transactions.

Re:Do they allow high frequency trading? (1)

rilian4 (591569) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265730)

Obvious Liberal Democrat alert...
Can't help but tax everything.

Re:Do they allow high frequency trading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265910)

I'm no liberal democrat, and I already pay enough taxes, but I like the goal here.

Stock trading is clearly a vital way to it possible for companies big enough to make things like cars and jumbo jets and nuclear reactors to raise capital. On the other hand, I think the rapid trading and treating it like a night at the casino rather than as a partner in a company is probably overall a bad thing. (Some economist can try to convince me otherwise.)

It would seem that adding some cost and/or delay to trading would go a long way to reducing volatility and encourage more reasonble long-term investment behavior. A per transaction tax is a pretty obvious way to do it, although I would prefer a non-tax method of achieving the same end.

Re:Do they allow high frequency trading? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266004)

One more thing - maybe we could get rid of the capital gains tax and replace it with a transaction tax.

I think that would be a win-win without an overall increase in taxes.
 

Re:Almost makes sense... (2)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265604)

It's not as simple as 'it's a company just like the company that produces your toilet paper' and you know it. If they even had a grain of decency they would be perfectly able to sound the alarm. The thing is that, the profits involved with being yes-men clearly outweighs the risks. It's more like Ford threw in an 'Robbing The Bank' button that releases caltrops then gives you 10x horsepower, flame thrower and twin jet engines, as well as dispensing clean clothes with passports in them. These kind of companies are well beyond mom and pop private enterprises, they are gambling institutions using countries, property and people as chips. They should have a social responsibility that reflects the position they are in.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

nickscalise (702579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265006)

Are they also then responsible for all the good times?

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265014)

NYSE? Were they a trading platform for credit default swaps? I get that many active participants on the floor are partly responsible, but I haven't heard anything about the stock exchanges being culpable.

Re:Almost makes sense... (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264768)

A: Because the use of trademarks associated with a company is perfectly legal in the context of a news story about that company.

B: I don't need a B. But a company is NOT entitled to use the courts to prevent "harm" caused by the public becoming aware of their own failures.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264910)

The news story wasn't directly about that company, though. It was about an overzealous FBI agent revealing an FBI investigation into an insider trading scheme. By throwing the trading floor picture onto the article, the publisher implies that NYSE itself is a part of the insider trading.

The NYSE is perfectly justified in using the legal system to stop libel and trademark dilution. That's probably what their perspective is, and I doubt very much this will ever even reach a court. They sent a letter. There's no indication of a lawsuit yet, but they've made enough fuss to show they're protecting their trademark.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265042)

The NYSE is perfectly justified in using the legal system to stop libel and trademark dilution.

Then if they think they are being libeled they should *fanfare* file a defamation suit. Secondly, how is it trademark dilution? Was the company using the picture attempting to pass itself off as the NYSEin some way? If not, there is no trademark dilution. Trademark law, despite what you and the idiots at the NYSE think, does not work that way. You don't get to claim trademark to squelch stories that you don't like. Basically you're about as wrong as can be on both the 1st Amendment and trademark law as one can possibly be.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265070)

To further add, true "trademark dilution" would, for example, be people who say that one is "Photoshopping" an image to any sort of image manipulation regardless of whether it was truly done in Photoshop. By using the trademarked name in this way, there is an attempt to try to disassociate the trademark with the singular product. There is no such thing in the case of a news story using a picture of the NYSE trade floor.

Re:Almost makes sense... (4, Informative)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265268)

Gee, maybe I'm wrong. Let's go look it up real quick [wikipedia.org] ...

Trademark dilution is a trademark law concept giving the owner of a famous trademark standing to forbid others from using that mark in a way that would lessen its uniqueness. In most cases, trademark dilution involves an unauthorized use of another's trademark on products that do not compete with, and have little connection with, those of the trademark owner.

So there's this news article about the FBI and investment companies, and TPM threw NYSE's trademark on there because... um... why, exactly? Well, maybe because it's a generic "stock trading" image that people will recognize, but it's not generic. It's a trademark. Putting the NYSE image on an unrelated article reinforces the idea that the NYSE is generic, and that certainly would "lessen its uniqueness".

Looks like dilution to me. Reading the actual C&D letter, the NYSE is not at all requesting censorship of the article. They just want the picture removed so they aren't directly associated with an insider trading investigation.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Coren22 (1625475) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265826)

Except it was an image of a couple guys standing in front of computers that happens to be on the NYSE floor. Take a look at the picture, does it look like a trademark to you? Would you even know it was a picture of the NYSE if it wasn't labeled right below as a picture of the NYSE?

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265868)

Unfortunately the trademark has already been diluted because the trading floor image of the NYSE is already seen as a generic "stock trading" image. In fact, if they filed a lawsuit over this, I hope that trademark gets invalidated.

It seems just absurd to trademark the floor of the NYSE considering that it's been the generic "stock trading" image for decades.

Re:Almost makes sense... (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266168)

Gee, maybe I'm wrong. Let's go look it up real quick [wikipedia.org]...

Gee, maybe you could have read all of my posts where I even add a clarification that provides examples of true trademark dilution.

So there's this news article about the FBI and investment companies, and TPM threw NYSE's trademark on there because... um... why, exactly?

Because it's one of numerous stock photos of the NYSE that are used in stories about stock markets, investing, etc.

Well, maybe because it's a generic "stock trading" image that people will recognize, but it's not generic. It's a trademark. Putting the NYSE image on an unrelated article reinforces the idea that the NYSE is generic, and that certainly would "lessen its uniqueness".

So then where are all the other C&Ds to cover the numerous amount of other articles that use similar stock photos of the NYSE? Oh right, they don't exist. And since the NYSE has let all those other stories go, they've already diluted their trademark by lack of enforcement making their case even weaker.

Looks like dilution to me. Reading the actual C&D letter, the NYSE is not at all requesting censorship of the article. They just want the picture removed so they aren't directly associated with an insider trading investigation.

So what? That's not dilution. Dilution is an attempt to disassociate the product and the trademark whereas the article in question even makes sure to point out that the 'trademark', the trading floor, is of the NYSE, the product. Writing an article about the London Stock Exchange and using that picture with a caption that attempted to suggest that the NYSE 'trademark' in the picture is of the LSE would have some merit of dilution.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266322)

Oh and if we are going to use wikipedia then maybe you should actually read what a trademark is?

A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities.

A generic stock photo of the NYSE trading floor is not a "distintive sign or indicator" and thus does not fall under a trademark. You can't claim trademark on every single stock photo of the trading floor just as Subway Restaurants can not claim trademark over any sign that says "Subway" in it. The Subway trademark is a distinctive sign of the business.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266400)

By your logic I couldn't put a picture of people eating a McDonalds burger in an article about fast food, because it'd dilute its uniqueness. I'd say this more a case of smearing a trademark, like say if you in every article about car accidents put a Ford. Yes, Ford is a car but you'd smear the impression that Ford = unsafe cars all over the trademark. It's not diluting, it's not making it generic, it's making negative associations to your brand. Just as if you made an STD warning ad using a stock photo, that model may have signed a release form but probably not to anything and everything. I guess that's how the NYSE feels about the illustration.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266418)

Trademark dilution is a trademark law concept giving the owner of a famous trademark standing to forbid others from using that mark in a way that would lessen its uniqueness. In most cases, trademark dilution involves an unauthorized use of another's trademark on products that do not compete with, and have little connection with, those of the trademark owner.

This means you can't have a cleaning company called Microsoft Cleaners despite the fact that a cleaning company does not in any way compete with Microsoft's software business. The use of trademarks by newspapers is something else, as the trademark isn't being used in the name of a product, company or service.

Re:Almost makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36264794)

I believe you will see the same policy with similar facilities, such as private country clubs.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264814)

By that logic the owners of any readily identifiable building or monument should be able to do the same. That's batshit crazy.

Re:Almost makes sense... (2)

berashith (222128) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264952)

this actually is true. I worked at an agency in NY that sent out a little flash based " christmas card" to its clients every year . One year, it was going to have the tree at Rockefeller and the skating rink in the background. As this was for a commercial purpose, we actually would have to clear copyrights and trademarks to use the image. The issue wasnt who owned or took the picture, the issue was actually the content. The image was replaced instead of paying for the rights to use that image.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Anonymous Crobar (1143477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265254)

For those outside the trademarks field, the two reasons for this level of control is to 1) protect the public from unscrupulous use and 2) protect the reputation of the mark. For example, if the company you worked for installed Christmas trees (but not the Rockefeller tree), it could easily be construed that your company installed the tree at Rockefeller Center. As to the second reason, imagine instead that your company produced Agent Orange and you wanted to clean up your image with a picture of the Rockefeller tree. In that case, the folks at Rockefeller Center may not want to be associated with them. Thus, they should have the right to control how their image was used. (Outside of the broad "newsworthiness" exception, of course.)

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265492)

True. How trademark law could be used to block news photographs in newspapers is beyond me, however - and I am working in the IP field, not in the US though. What category would they even register for?

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Anonymous Crobar (1143477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265654)

It's not a question of category - when news deals with the subject of the trademark, the First Amendment is an absolute defense to infringement. In this case, the article was about insider trading, not about NYSE specifically. There isn't a strong enough link between this specific stock exchange and an illegal act performed by people who may have never even set foot in the NYSE. I'm not sure how it works in your jurisdiction, but here, a cease and desist (C&D) is a letter you send to the offender asking them to stop infringing and if it is ignored, it is often a precursor to a lawsuit.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265752)

Yeah, works about the same - I don't get the trademark angle though. I agree that they have good cause to want to stop a news agency associating them with an activity they are not ultimately responsible for. But why take the trademark route for that? It's slightly weird, imo. I'd aim for libel, not for trademark infringement. But that might be specifics of the respective legal systems here.

Re:Almost makes sense... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264822)

I'm not sure if my transmitter is correctly tuned to reach the twilight zone; but I'll try:

The press writes articles about stuff. Sometimes, those articles cast actors and organizations in a less than positive light. If this is what they deserve, the press is performing one of the more socially vital functions around. If it is undeserved, they can be be taken to court for libel. "Trademark" is intended to protect a company's distinctive marks from being used deceptively in the marketplace, not to give an entity the legal right to insist that its nose be kept clean, no matter how dirty it might be.

Use of trademarks as a graphical shorthand or accent to make the reader immediately aware of who you are writing about is perfectly valid, and indeed quite logical. If what you are writing about happens to be bad behavior on the part of the trademark holder, perhaps they ought to try behaving better.

This isn't about somebody going after "Nokla" brand phones, this is about the NYSE using spurious trademark claims in an attempt to gag the press.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265028)

The article in question isn't about the NYSE, though. It's about an FBI investigation. Attaching a NYSE trademark implies that NYSE is involved.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Anonymous Crobar (1143477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265278)

Also, the C&D can only address the image - not the article itself.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266258)

The article in question isn't about the NYSE, though. It's about an FBI investigation. Attaching a NYSE trademark implies that NYSE is involved.

So what? Care to cite any statutory law that makes this remotely relevant? If that were true it would be a case for a defamation suit, not a trademark suit especially when the article in question is from November of last year which shows a clear lack of trademark enforcement. This is also ignoring the fact that the use of this supposedly 'trademarked' image has been used in generic articles about stock trading, investments, etc for years and years and years without the NYSE doing anything basically does nothing but show that they've allowed their 'trademark' to become generic and unenforceable. The NYSE is intentionally abusing trademark law.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264852)

The C&D was referring to an article that could harm NYSE's reputation, so why should the organization just sit idly by and be tarnished?

Boohoo? Unless the article is found by a court to be libelous, why should they be able to stamp out people reporting facts that the NYSE doesn't like to be publicized? What next? The President, members of Congress, etc get to C&D stories that show their misdeed to the public?

Re:Almost makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36264884)

I see nothing to be outraged about here.

I see nothing to be outraged about, either. It's ridiculous; the proper emotion is amusement, not outrage.

Re:Almost makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36264972)

Trademark law is not to prevent ungoodspeak as you seem to think, much as corporations might like it. In fact it's perfectly legal for me to say "Coca-Cola tastes like diabetic rat piss" or Wendy's to say "Our new gimmick-fries are preferred by consumers over McDonalds fries" -- harming reputations is fine and dandy WRT trademark law as long as you're honest about it. (Libel's another matter, naturally.)

Trademark law exists to prevent confusion or deception, so I can't label my home-brewed alcopop as Coca-Cola, and the news organization can't use NYSE's trademarks to represent themselves as being NYSE, or being endorsed by NYSE. Since AFAICT that's not happening, the case is bullshit, and so are you.

Re:Almost makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36264982)

There is something to be outraged about. This is a complete misuse of trademark.

This is about the NYSE legally prohibiting photography of the trading floor. If it's private property, then they should have some legal recourse to block photography, similar to the way some museums and other public and/or gov't buildings.

Trying to regulate that via trademark is nonsensical. As far as I know, you can't trademark a volume of area.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265356)

The C&D was referring to an article that could harm NYSE's reputation, so why should the organization just sit idly by and be tarnished?

Yes, of course the NYSE should be able to veto any news articles that aren't sufficiently respectful.That they could sue anyone who published untrue stories as libel isn't enough.

Re:Almost makes sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265632)

Because trademark doesn't do what you evidently think it does. I can show a picture of the Coca-Cola ribbon and they can't stop me. There is no law against using trademarks in general. You are only prohibited from using them in particular industries in a way that could mislead a consumer. The design of the stock market floor could be trademarked, but that would have no impact on journalists, etc., displaying images of the same. They simply couldn't use the designs in a way that would imply they were producing/selling a product of the NYSE.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265998)

While it is true that the NYSE can trademark the floor as you say, the problem is that they cannot selectively enforce trademark as they wish. I would bet that in the long history of floor there have been many published photographs taken of the floor without permission. If the NYSE did not pursue trademark violations in all those cases, they cannot pursue TPM under the principles of laches and estoppel.

Re:Almost makes sense... (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266192)

There are hundreds if not thousands of stock photos of the NYSE trading floor that are used in stories about investing, stock markets, etc in stories that aren't about the NYSE specifically. They've already made their 'trademark' generic through lack of enforcement.

Newsworthy event (1)

billlava (1270394) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264784)

If the event is newsworthy (and if they're allowing press in there already) I don't see how a location can be trademarked. Which part of the trading floor? All parts? Every floorboard? Or are they just generally saying that a crowded group of yuppies in suits wearing bluetooth headsets falls under their IP?

Great... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264818)

If this ends up being upheld we can pretty much kiss any photographic evidence of civil wrongdoing goodbye... Obviously the point, but really? They're getting pretty damn brazen.

Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36264866)

We need to start an internet campaign to post pictures of their "trademark" everywhere. If everyone does it, they can't do anything about it.

Another day... (1)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264874)

... another corporation using laws that were designed to further the public good to take away the right to free speech. Nothing unusual. Probably shouldn't even be considered 'news' anymore.

Prior art? (3, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264880)

Considering the location has been photographed infinite times and lots of video before this decision, how can it ever be enforced?

Re:Prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265012)

prior art is patents. this is trademark. in trademark, they have to actively defend their mark or they loose it. the way i see it is that all these years, they have not been defending the use of the trademark. can they apply for trademark protection years after the "mark" has been publicly associated with the company?

Re:Prior art? (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265190)

No. If they have a supposed trademark, whether registered or not, and they don't defend it then you lose it.

Re:Prior art? (1)

Ironlenny (1181971) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265272)

I have a trademark on the United States. No one can publish any pictures of the United States with out my express permission.

Re:Prior art? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265458)

I have a trademark on light. No one can use light for purposes of seeing anything, anywhere, at any time, without my express permission.

Prior Art doesn't hold much weight with copyright (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265610)

You're thinking patents, I think. Someone sued Lucas over Star Wars copyrights, and lost, iirc. The reason they tried to use was that it had become a common cultural icon. One could say the same thing about Coca-Cola or Disney characters. But neither are in danger of losing their copyrights.

Mickey Mouse is seen everywhere as well. But if you were to take a picture of a tshirt with the Mickey Mouse logo on it, then that photo would possibly be in violation of copyright. It is effectively a reproduction. Of course, it depends a lot on the context of a photo. If you photograph your family at Disney World in front of the castle, which is copyrighted, you are likely allowed to use it to give to family.

However, the question in this case, to me, is more like trying to copyright Times Square or any other well known place. This case will rest mostly on whether or not NYSE has a valid copyright. IANAL

Re:Prior Art doesn't hold much weight with copyrig (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266422)

It does hold weight with trademark though. If you don't protect a trademark you can lose it. There is a difference between trademark and copyright, and the article is talking about trademark.

Trademark them all.. (1)

darkmasterchief (997565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264930)

A photograph of a location cannot be trademarked, if that were the case, then they would have to trademark every and any photograph of a place. Suppose that the claim that a photograph of a particular place can be trademarked... Taking the following into account, angle, zoom level, color variance, etc...Every photographic variation should also be trademarked. But this would not fall under the definition of a trademark, and not even a trade dress... A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark[1] is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or services from those of other entities. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trademark [wikipedia.org]

Re:Trademark them all.. (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265248)

If this works, I plan to trademark my house. Google can then pay me to license the picture they have of it on street view.

prior art (1)

theCat (36907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264974)

I'm pretty sure that "trading floor" goes back a ways. Like maybe 10,000 years or so. So does "a bunch of loud mouths standing around shouting prices". You can take a picture of people doing this kinda thing in every major city in the world, 24 hours a day, and could have do so at any time since the invention of the camera in 1837.

Prior art bitches.

Re:prior art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265628)

We're not talking about a patent, you dumbfuck. The slashdot users with the low UIDs are always the stupidest.

And logos primarily composed of a circle have been in use since logos were conceived of. Pepsi should have no trademark on theirs due to prior art.

theCat (36907) is today's stupidest slashtard.

Disclaimer: I'm just here to call out theCat on how stupid he is. I wrote the bearfactsspecialistreport.com post above. I'm not actually in favor of the NYSE.

Re:prior art (1)

theCat (36907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265856)

heheheh ... I got special mention! Slashtard of the Day!

Is 36K now "low index"? damn, I remember when it was still 1K to be low. Read a post maybe 10 years ago by a guy UIDed at around 300 and everyone changed the subject to "how did you first hear about /.?" Hey Commander Taco, those were the wild days, weren't they? Man look at all we've lost since then ...

NYSE Floor Trading Irrelevant in 21st Century (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264980)

The NYSE trading floor depicted in the photo is mostly irrelevant with, presumably, most, trades being done electronically.

Furthermore, the NYSE itself is no longer the NYSE alone ... it's part of a larger company, NYSE Euronext.

Ron

Re:NYSE Floor Trading Irrelevant in 21st Century (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265136)

And yet, it's the most recognizable image of the NYSE. Personally, I can't recognize the building on sight, or their logo, but I can immediately tell the NYSE trading floor from others. It makes perfect sense for them to make a bit of a fuss about the use of the image, just so later they can complain louder when somebody uses an image of the trading floor in a way that's actually a problem.

Re:NYSE Floor Trading Irrelevant in 21st Century (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266350)

And yet, it's the most recognizable image of the NYSE.

Irrelevant. A trademark is a distinctive mark. Secondly, if this were such an issue where are the C&Ds over all the other articles that use stock photos of the NYSE trading floor that aren't about the NYSE in particular? Oh right, there are none and thus the NYSE's 'trademark' has been diluted through their own lack of enforcement and thus been made generic. Basically, the NYSE has fucking failed at their own statutory duty.

my workaround (3, Funny)

dotmax (642602) | more than 3 years ago | (#36264986)

Use a photo of the garbage-filled gutter in front of the NYSE, or maybe Bernie Madoff, or a simple graphic of a downward-trending chart with the words FRAUD superimposed.

Re:my workaround (2)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265056)

Surely an upward-tranding chart would be more indicative of fraud?

Re:my workaround (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265996)

Slashdot doesn't let me do big ascii art diagrams, but something that slopes up then drops down to the floor suddenly like /| would be the best indication.

Re:my workaround (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265676)

Or this ass-hat. [dvcplanners.com]

Re:my workaround (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266156)

Use a photo of the garbage-filled gutter in front of the NYSE, or maybe Bernie Madoff,

How about a huge pile of greasy, steaming shit? They say a picture paints a thousands words and there can be no better image to represent or communicate the true value of financial investments.

Own the light? (1)

Strange Ranger (454494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265100)

Owning and controlling something is fine and dandy. Literally trying to own and control the photons that bounce off of your property is too ludicrous for words.

Management. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265156)

This is a case of image management. NYSE must maintain an image that they are an institution not involved in corruption. To maintain this facade, they feel they must manage any image that portrays them differently.

Corporate fascism through IP law... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265222)

Filter error: You can type more than that for your comment.

Filter error: You can type more than that for your comment.

Filter error: You can type more than that for your comment.

Good for them!! (0)

gti_guy (875684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265384)

Whaaa! I can't use a photograph in my story. Whaaa! So what??? Does that stop you from publishing a story about the stock exchange? What's wrong with taking control on how your image is used? I applaud them and if they are successful, I might go about trademarking my image. Wouldn't it be nice to have the law on YOUR side when people post photos of you without your okay?

Re:Good for them!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265750)

Are you trolling or just an idiot?

Re:Good for them!! (1)

theCat (36907) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266040)

"Trolling idiot" works too. Tho I imagine this guy works for NYSE or their PR attack dogs.

NYSE is locked in a death spiral with the other Exchanges. Bad Things are happening to their revenue model. Cry me a river...

Oh, I actually wrote some fiction on the NYSE and high-freq trading. Totally fictitious all around (I've never even been there) but funny as heck IMO:

madscienceunlimited.com/fiction/theexchange.html

I guess I'll get a take-down order now lulz. But at least I didn't include a picture of the trading floor.

There may be something they don't want you to see (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36265620)

The active part of the NYSE floor is now SMALL compared to it's former glory. And drop in at a random time after the market open (ok, you can't as a member of the general public, but let's say you could) and you'll find it's fairly dead. There's not much going on, it's obvious that the folks there have not much to do 99% of the time (and yes, there are constraints that limit further headcount reduction, even if there's not really any work.) So they are standing around, chatting, looking totally bored.

In order to maintain a public image of a dynamic market, the heart of American capitalism, I'd guess it's fairly essential to tightly control (and perhaps just stage-manage entirely) any images and video of the floor.

Re:There may be something they don't want you to s (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265726)

And yet we still see CNBC using that hackneyed shot of a "reporter" on the chit-strewn floor, looking up at the camera as bustling and hustling occurs around them.

I wonder if they've started bringing in their own slips of paper as props, and hiring extras ("must bring your own wing-tips") to create the activity.

I have no doubt that the entire scenario is a part of their elaborate scam to induce churn.

Re:There may be something they don't want you to s (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266034)

Well the actual active floor of the NYSE these days is a computer data centre with lots of air conditioning tubes, cables, blinkenlights and so on. The real activity takes place on bank trading floors. They put their trades on their computers, and they go to the NYSE computer for processing.e

absurd (1)

ukemike (956477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265646)

So if this is legit then selling a photo taken virtually anywhere in pubilc in the U.S. and much of the rest of the world would be a trademark violation. It is impossible to open your eyes without being assaulted by a dozen corporate trademarks.

The real reason that this is absurd is this: Trademark law is intended to prevent one company from dishonestly associating themselves with the reputation of another company. For instance making a shiny white PC and branding it an ApplePC would obviously be an attempt to deceive the market. When a reporter takes a photo at the NYSE, that reporter is not attempting to fool people that his stock exchange is associated with the NYSE, he is reporting on the news. NYSE also has no need do defend the trademark here since there is no infringement to defend. Reporting is not infringement.

Re:absurd (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265746)

So if this is legit then selling a photo taken virtually anywhere in pubilc in the U.S. and much of the rest of the world would be a trademark violation.

No, only if you take a photo of something that is already trademarked and then publish it yourself for profit.

And only if the trademark owner considers it worse publicity than "bad publicity".

Re:absurd (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266060)

I don't think Andy Warhol required any permission for his paintings of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup, nor did Banksy for is painting of Tesco Value soup.

Re:absurd (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266440)

No, only if you take a photo of something that is already trademarked and then publish it yourself for profit.

Sorry, that's not how trademark law works. You seem to be confusing trademark with a copyrighted image. You can use trademarks in articles that are published for profit without needing approval of the mark holder.

And only if the trademark owner considers it worse publicity than "bad publicity".

That's completely irrelevant. A newspaper can write a negative article about McDonalds and use the trademarked McDonalds logo in the article without needing approval from the company and they could do nothing against it.

Trademark copyright (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36265702)

Trademark law is there to protect a trade mark from being used by someone else to advertise their similar product.The news report did not post a picture and attempt to pass it off as their trading floor. That is dilution of brand and therefore against trademark law. I can use a trademark any time I want as long as it refers to the owner of the trademark. For example, Pepsi can display Coke's Trademark if they are doing a comparison. They do not need a license to do it. I could also write an article about the use of high fructose corn syrup, display a Coke can and Coke could do nothing about it.

Re:Trademark copyright (1)

Agronomist Cowherd (948449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266002)

Those things are all true, except the last (and only with a contrafactual assumption there). If it were the case that Coke did not, in fact, have high-fructose corn syrup in it, then they could complain about your picture of Coke. Just because it is a soft drink, and popular, doesn't give you the right to print a picture of the trademarked Coke logo when that has nothing to do with the story. (In the real world, Coke is full of HFCS, and it would be fine.)

In this case, the NYSE has nothing to do with the insider trading (apparently), and they don't want to be associated with the story, and that means they can use their trademark on their "image" to prevent it being tied to a story that isn't about them.

It's as if a story about pedophiles in our midst were illustrated with pictures of you playing with your kids. Sure, the story never claimed you were a pedophile; it never mentioned you at all. Yet the presence of your image there would cause an association you would certainly not like, and you would for damn sure use whatever legal basis you had to get your pictures off of there.

Re:Trademark copyright (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266196)

So all the court convictions of insider traders on the NYSE does not point to the fact that insider trading happens there? Just because the NYSE itself is not doing insider trading does not mean that the NYSE is not related to it. That would be like banning the picture of a gun involved in a murder because the gun manufacturer did not pull the trigger and does not want to be associated with murder.

I am not related in any way to paedophilia therefore I could sue for slander. The NYSE, where insider trading does occur, is related to the story. If the NYSE feels slandered then sue for slander; don't try to hide behind an unrelated law.

Actual trademark image (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#36266144)

Here's the actual trademark image. [uspto.gov] from the USPTO. "The mark consists of a representation of an actual building interior, namely, a securities exchange trading floor."

Here's the image from the article. [talkingpointsmemo.com] It's not an overview of the NYSE trading floor. It''s a single trading post on some exchange. (Of course, at this point, the NYSE is about the only exchange that still has a trading floor. Most of the trading actually happens in the racks of a colocation facility in New Jersey anyway.) If anybody has a right to complain, it's Barclays Capital, because their trading post is being shown in conjunction with a story about fraud, and the story doesn't mention Barclays Capital.

NYSE Euronext can do this if they want to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36266154)

This seems to be well within the rights of the exchange, and I think most of the Slashdotters are missing the point. To be clear, we're talking about images of the trading floor, which requires permission to simply access, camera or not. Actually accessing the floor itself is a Big Deal compared to accessing the visitors' viewing area, security checks/ RFID Badges are required, etc.

We're not talking about trademarking the building exterior.

It isn't possible to use a photographic flash inside, for example; that's an old rule. This RTFA might be a new rule I haven't heard of before, but it seems if they can prevent access to the building, flashes, etc. it seems they can imposed similar publication restrictions on photos that exit the building.

With the trading done automatically now, the floors of the grand global exchanges are very quiet and dull actually. Word has been the floor is to be leased to MSNBC-type broadcast TV stations 'covering' the actual exchange activity itself. The NYSE E. wants to maximize its investment, so why not charge TV stations, to use the floor as a broadcast backdrop? And as such they don't want the, actually rather dull, trading floors to dilute such broadcast value.

Disclaimer: Posted anonymously, because it is a good idea to do so now.

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