Wednesday, July 18, 2018

"G.M. Used Graffiti in a Car Ad. Should the Artist Be Paid?"

The New York Times reports:

"Mr. Falkner’s case is set to turn on another unsettled question of copyright law. Last month, lawyers for G.M. sought to end his lawsuit by claiming in court papers that the company was allowed to use his parking garage mural because of a provision in the law that says images of 'architectural works' do not have copyright protections. In their papers, the lawyers argued that the parking garage was itself an architectural work and that Mr. Falkner’s mural was not protected under the law because it was 'incorporated into a building.'"

And in response:

"Last week, Mr. Gluck [the artist's lawyer] filed his own court papers, suggesting that the architectural exemption was put in place to protect the public from being sued for taking and posting photos of significant structures like the Washington Monument or the Space Needle in Seattle. If a parking garage — even one covered in art — could be construed as a significant structure, Mr. Gluck maintained, it would have widespread implications.  'If GM’s view prevailed,' he wrote, 'all graffiti art that exists on a building — that is, most graffiti art — would suddenly be unprotected by copyright.'"