In New York City we've already seen a psychotic Elmo curse and scream anti-semitic slurs, and various costumed cartoon characters get into push-and-shove rages (and worse) if they didn't get the "tip" they expected.
Why is this allowed? Because in this Google-world, nobody believes in intellectual property. Before Google allowed its bloggers to steal all the music and offer free downloads, before Google decided to guide people to every thieving torrent, forum and website, before Google decided it could digitize any book it pleased, before Google felt it could excerpt every newspaper article, and before Google took over YouTube and began allowing everyone to upload music and bootleg concert footage and even the latest TV shows and sports highlights...people respected INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY...and COPYRIGHT...and TRADEMARK.
These terms no longer exist because "it ruins our fun!" Notice a line in the article, which appeared in the Daily News. Costumed cretins have filed lawsuits screaming about their "First Amendment" rights. They do not have ANY right to use trademarked costumes and the intellectual property of others to extort money from tourists. These morons didn't invent Spiderman or Batgirl. They should require licensing agreements.
Thanks to the influence of Google, and such partners in crime as Amazon and of course, Ebay (where duping photos, making unauthorized t-shirts, and even Photoshopping movie star's faces onto hardcore porn images makes money for them), the notion of copyright protection is quaint.
Oh, what charming publicity for Marvel Comics, The Muppets, and the Batman franchise owned by Warner Bros., when unauthorized versions of their characters intimidate tourists and push and shove each other for prime locations to make illegal profits.
The scuffles and the disorderly conduct...haven't led to any meaningful legislation yet. Perhaps the lawmakers are waiting for some tourist to fire a gun at a very mortal Superman, or waiting for Tickle-Me Elmo to punch a child into a coma. As it is, with so many of these costumed characters raging on the streets (you can sometimes get double vision or triple vision when several miscreants wear identical outfits) Times Square is more obnoxious and congested and dangerous than when it was loaded with porn and hookers.
I have nostalgia for the good old days, when the only odd face in Times Square belonged to Joe Franklin. And it wasn't a mask.