Possible Class Action Lawsuit Against NYPD and City Raises New VARA (and Civil Rights) Questions
06/30/2021We have written often about the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA), and in particular the emerging legal conversation about how VARA applies to street art. Now, a recently-initiated case—against New York City and the NYPD—may break new ground on that topic.
As A New Year Begins, A Look Back At Some of the Supreme Court’s Important Art-Related Rulings, Non-Rulings, and Pending Cases from 2020
01/14/2021As we leave 2020 behind, we’ve put together a brief update on some of the Supreme Court’s most significant 2020 decisions that have implications for the art world, as well as a couple of cases that have been argued but not yet decided.
Artists Win Second Circuit Appeal In 5Pointz Graffiti Art Case
02/25/2020We’ve been following the 5Pointz case since its inception, through summary judgment, a trial, an advisory jury verdict for the plaintiffs, and a decision by federal district judge Frederic Block, who issued an award of $6.75 million (and later declined to reconsider that award). Now, three federal appellate judges from the Second Circuit have weighed in, unanimously upholding Judge Block’s award and his reasoning in this groundbreaking case regarding graffiti art.
Recent Cases Explore Ongoing Question Of How Copyright Law Applies to Graffiti
10/03/2019We’ve written before about the ongoing conversation—not just in the art world, but in the courts—regarding how American copyright law should apply to the unique art form of graffiti. In this post, we review some recent developments that may add to that conversation.
Mural Artist’s Suit Against GM Over Cadillac Commercial Survives Summary Judgment
10/04/2018Back in August, we wrote about a new lawsuit against automotive giant General Motors, and its potential implications for graffiti art. Now, the artist plaintiff in that case has at least partially prevailed in GM’s motion for summary judgment, clearing the way for a trial.
Suit by Mural Artist Over GM Commercial Raises New Question About Copyright Law’s Application to Graffiti
08/21/2018Over the years we’ve covered many stories about how the American copyright regime applies to graffiti art. Now, a lawsuit against car manufacturer General Motors may test a new legal angle in this area of case law.
Trial Judge Refuses to Reconsider Massive Award For Graffiti Artists in VARA Case Regarding Destruction of 5Pointz Works
06/19/2018Earlier this year, federal district judge Frederic Block issued an opinion ordering the defendants to pay significant damages for their violations of the Visual Artists Rights Act, 17 U.S.C. § 106A (also known as VARA). Now, Judge Block has denied the defendants’ request to reconsider his ruling, instead reaffirming and bolstering that earlier decision in advance of the defendants’ appeal to the Second Circuit.
Judge Awards Damages In Connection With Graffiti Artists’ VARA Claims Regarding Destruction of 5Pointz Works
02/13/2018This week, a federal judge awarded a total of $6.75m to the 21 graffiti-artist plaintiffs whose works were destroyed in the now-famous 5Pointz case.
5Pointz Trial Applies Visual Artists Rights Act to Graffiti Art for First Time
10/24/2017If you rode the New York City subway’s Flushing-bound Number 7 Line before 2013, you probably recall the elevated train snaking through 5Pointz, a group of Long Island City warehouses emblazoned with colorful graffiti. After years of protracted litigation, a trial is now underway in Brooklyn federal district court that will determine whether federal law affords the artists who created 5Pointz a legal right to the graffiti.
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