ATLANTA – Arnall Golden Gregory attorneys Matthew Wilson and Tucker Barr published an article in the Daily Report, Georgia’s legal industry newspaper, on a property owner’s legal rights after an artist has been hired or otherwise allowed to beautify a building.
Mr. Wilson and Mr. Barr, both intellectual property attorneys, point out in the article, “Street Art Depicts a Complicated Picture of Rights: Commentary,” that the property owner may be restricted in altering or removing the art or using it for marketing.
“It may come as a surprise to the owner that commissioning and paying for the work does not necessarily mean that the owner may use the artwork without restriction,” they write.
A federal court in New York recently awarded $6.75 million to a group of artists whose “graffiti murals” were destroyed by the property owner. The basis of the ruling rests in a relatively novel federal law known as the Visual Artists Rights Acts of 1990 (VARA), which partially codifies the age-old concept of “artistic moral rights.”
Mr. Wilson works primarily in the areas of entertainment, new media, advertising, promotions and marketing law. Mr. Barr works primarily in the fields of intellectual property and litigation.
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