Droit Moral is a French term for Moral Rights. It refers to the personal rights a creator has in their work. It protects artistic integrity and prevents others from altering the work of artists, or taking the artist's name off work, without the artist's permission.

Last month, in the latest chapter of the ongoing legal saga arising from the whitewashing of “5Pointz,” the former aerosol-art mecca located in Queens, New York, the Second Circuit granted defendants’ motion to stay issuance of its appellate mandate pending defendants’ petition for a writ of certiorari in
Continue Reading 5Pointz Litigation SCOTUS-Bound?

On June 13, 2018, Judge Frederic Block of the Eastern District of New York issued an impassioned decision upholding the $6.75 million damage award he granted the aerosol artists of 5Pointz in February 2018. The court denied the defendants’ post-trial motion to grant a new trial or vacate the February
Continue Reading Update: “5Pointz” Artists Hold On to Win

On February 12, Judge Frederic Block of the Eastern District of New York awarded $6.75 million in statutory damages to the aerosol artists of “5Pointz,” agreeing with the jury’s advisory finding that property developer Jerry Wolkoff violated those artists’ “right of integrity” under the Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”).

As
Continue Reading Update: Enforcing an Artist’s Rights in Street Art

On October 27, 2017, the New York Chapter of the Copyright Society of the USA hosted a panel exploring the history, caselaw and policies underlying the Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”).[1]  The panel featured Amy Adler, Emily Kempin Professor of Law at New York University School of Law;
Continue Reading CSUSA Hosts VARA Panel During “5Pointz” Trial

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A six-member jury has returned an advisory verdict finding that a property developer violated more than twenty graffiti artists’ “right of integrity” under the Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”) when it whitewashed a building bearing nearly fifty of those artists’ works….
Continue Reading Update: Enforcing an Artist’s Rights in Street Art

Read time: 5 minutes

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals adopted a utility-based standard for determining when a work of art is deemed “applied art” and therefore not entitled to protection under the Visual Artists Rights Act (“VARA”).1 VARA was enacted in 1990 as an amendment to the Copyright Act, and incorporated the concept of droit moral
Continue Reading Cheffins v. Stewart: Burning Man; Burning Ships