New graffiti case hits BK court in wake of 5Pointz ruling

Case asks whether illegally painted mural deserves copyright protections

TRD New York /
Mar.March 16, 2018 08:31 AM

The mural at William Sheridan Playground (Credit: Lawsuit)

Brooklyn’s Federal District Court is becoming a haven for lawsuits about graffiti.

The court received a case last week that will ask whether an illegally painted mural deserves to be protected under federal copyright law, according to the New York Times. The case comes in the wake of a jury’s decision that the graffiti artists at 5Pointz in Long Island City were entitled to $6.7 million after developer Jerry Wolkoff whitewashed over their work.

The new case stems from a fashion shoot by clothing company H&M in Williamsburg’s William Sheridan Playground last year. The production firm they hired wanted to shoot at a handball court with graffiti and asked the city’s Parks and Recreation Department if they needed to pay royalties to use the graffiti. The department replied that they did not know who painted the mural and that it was not sanctioned by the city.

H&M thus shot footage in front of it, and after artist Jason Williams saw it online, his lawyer Jeff Gluck sent a cease-and-desist letter to H&M claiming that they had used Williams’ work without his approval and threatening legal action.

H&M’s lawyers responded that they had done their due diligence and did not need Williams’ permission to use the graffiti since he had created it illegally. They recently filed a lawsuit asking a judge to declare that they are free to use the mural and that Williams has no claims on it.

“Essentially what H&M is doing here is asking the court to declare that any and all unsanctioned or illegal art should be utterly devoid of copyright protection,” Williams’ lawyer Jeff Gluck told the Times. “It really is an assault on artists’ rights.” [NYT]Eddie Small


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
CIM Group’s Shaul Kuba, Knotel's Amol Sarva, Related Group’s Jorge Pérez and The Agency’s Mauricio Umansky (Getty, Sarva by Sasha Maslov, iStock)

These real estate companies got fat PPP loans

These real estate companies got fat PPP loans
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell (Getty)

Real estate stocks benefit from second quarter rally

Real estate stocks benefit from second quarter rally
The Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue with a photo illustration of RFR's Aby Rosen (Getty, Google, iStock)

Aby Rosen to build sprawling gym in Seagram Building

Aby Rosen to build sprawling gym in Seagram Building
Square Mile Capital’s Craig Solomon and Hackman Capital Partner's Michael Hackman with Silvercup Studios at 42-22 22nd Street in Long Island City (Hackman; AAK via Wikipedia Commons)

Hackman, Square Mile in talks to buy Silvercup Studios

Hackman, Square Mile in talks to buy Silvercup Studios
A photo illustration of Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo from a scene in the film The Matrix (Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures; Quora)

“Our HQ will be in the cloud”: What if remote-first work is an opportunity, not a compromise?

“Our HQ will be in the cloud”: What if remote-first work is an opportunity, not a compromise?
Your friendly neighborhood retail store couldn’t be happier to welcome you back (iStock)

Small Talk: Welcome back shoppers! Everything is going to be fine!

Small Talk: Welcome back shoppers! Everything is going to be fine!
From left: Onay Payne, Jim Simmons, Margaret Anadu and Tammy Jones (Payne by Emily Assiran)

‘Your pedigree is always questioned’: Black real estate execs push for change

‘Your pedigree is always questioned’: Black real estate execs push for change
McDonald’s on 220 West 42nd Street (Getty, iStock)

McDonald’s closes Times Square flagship

McDonald’s closes Times Square flagship
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...