Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Copyrighting/Trademarking Landmarks

For the last few years, “many more tourists [35 million] … travelled to the pyramid-shaped Luxor hotel in Las Vegas than to Luxor itself” and Egypt has decided it’s had enough with everyone else making money off its image. Egypt is “planning to pass a law that would exact royalty payments from anyone found making copies of the country’s ancient monuments or museum pieces, including the pyramids.”

Interestingly enough, the pyramids are not the only landmarks you have to pay to use. Ever wonder why you see the Empire State Building in a lot more movies than it’s much more beautiful neighbor the Chrysler Building? Well, turns out the Chrysler Building (along with the facade of the New York Stock Exchange and the lions at the New York Public Library) are actually trademarked. Explaining why the Empire State Building isn’t trademarked, a representative said, “The Empire State Building belongs to everyone …The last thing I’d want to do is restrict the use of the building. I know it’s kind of diminished when it’s got a thermometer stuck inside. But we love to see the building everywhere.”

December 30, 2007