With a new steamroller Governor in office, the Empire State Development Corporation is looking to put some new life in the "I ♥ New York" brand. The ESDC is looking for ad agencies to work on a marketing campaign to promote tourism to New York to the rest of the country. The state plans to spend $16 million on the campaign, which is a 45% increase over previous years. We hope that the ads will revive the I Love New York jingle - it seems dated, but it's got its charm (unlike the song commissioned for New York City). But it reminds us of this crazy 1978 copyright infringement case.

When Saturday Night Live did a skit called "I Love Sodom" using the "I Love New York" jingle in 1978, the "I Love New York" jingle composer Steve Karmen sued NBC. Judge Gerald Goettel wrote a funny opinion noting that the campaign helped make New York City seem more attractive, that the jingle was a part of the campaign's success, and ultimately how SNL's skit was fair use.

The plaintiff asserts that, as the defendants did not attempt to parody the song "I Love New York" itself, the singing of "I Love Sodom" did not, under MCA or Walt Disney , constitute a fair use. We cannot agree. The song "I Love Sodom" in the sketch was intended to symbolize a catchy, upbeat tune that would divert a potential tourist's attention from the town's reputation for gambling, gluttony, idol worshipping, and, of course, sodomy. The song was as much a parody of the song "I Love New York," a catchy, upbeat tune intended to alter a potential tourist's perceptions of New York as it was of the overall "I Love New York" advertising campaign.

You can see the clips here. And we've found it interesting that the campaign, while the state's tourism initiative, is very closely associated with the city.

How would you reinvigorate the I Love New York brand? And Milton Glaser designed the iconic I Love New York logo, Mary Wells of Well Rich Greene came up with the slogan, and Bobby Zarem promoted the hell out of it.