Which, apparently, didn't go over well with the MTA, who found out about it... and, in response, issued the following letter:
“While we at the MTA are flattered that you recognize the value of our brand to consumers, please understand the MTA has a well-established product licensing program which markets authorized versions of such products. While we have no record of your firm requesting or being granted such authorization, we are prepared to initiate discussions with you about acquiring a license from us.
The MTA’s intellectual property is protected by applicable copyright law and trademark law. The manner in which your web site markets these items, such as your reference to New York City subway, implies involvement and/or endorsement of your business and products by the MTA.
The MTA considers its intellectual property to be a valuable asset which we protect from dilution and confusion in the marketplace. The MTA obtained and maintains its registered trademarks, copyrights and intellectual property in the public interest. It is important for the MTA to be able to communicate with the public about its services, as well as operate its established licensed products program, without unauthorized users of its intellectual property creating confusion.
Please reply to me by email or in writing to acknowledge receipt of this notice, and to indicate your intention to remove this item from Etsy and cease any sales of the item...
As she wrote on her Tumblr:
My big bad oil paintings, on the surface of discarded
MetroCardssubway cards, are apparently a huge threat to the sanctity of the MTA’s intellectual property. Unless, of course, I want to throw down some big cash and pay for the privilege of referencing the MTA in any way.
That ain’t gonna happen.
And she wonders if the MTA is aware of the recent Single Fare 2 show on the Lower East Side, an exhibit of some 1,300 artworks all presented on
In any event, VH told me that she removed the "before" image of the
Anyway, I guess this is one way for the MTA to close up a $100 million budget gap — make local artists pay a licensing fee.
[Hat tip to Esquared at Nonetheless]