I agree with you in some ways, Scott, but you gotta understand that California is a much different place than New York and the east coast, especially when it comes to pizza. New Yorkers know pizza, but most Californians have never tasted a really good pizza, and sometimes image is everything in California. If you wanna stay in business, you gotta play by the rules.
Ryan, cultural treasures are owned by those that create them. The champagne producers are perfectly within their rights to tell other wine makers across the globe that they can use their varietal of grape, but they can't call it champagne. They 'own' the rights to the cultural treasure that they created. Parmigiano Reggiano- same thing. Balsamic vinegar- also protected. All these regions have a right to make sure that imitators aren't making money from a debased version of their product.
Now... at this point, New Yorkers can't take these pizzerias that are co-opting and debasing their culture to court, but they can say, "Shame on you. You're taking this precious commodity that we've toiled for decades to establish, making a quick buck off a pale imitation, and, in the process, trashing our hard earned reputation."
If Tony wants to call his trimmed pizza 'Tony Style' or 'Pyzano style' or even something like 'California NY style,' I would have no problem with it. But he's taking a brand that 8 million New Yorkers own the rights to and tarnishing it. As you move West from the NY metro area, just about everyone serves up an adulterated version of NY pizza and calls it "NY Style"- and it's wrong. A Wisconsinite, a Floridian, a New Mexican, a Californian- no one outside of NY has the right to re-define NY's cultural treasure. It's wrong when any pizzeria owner does it, but it's especially indefensible when an ex-NYer does it. Tony should know better than to openly betray his culture.