Using as a case study the recent “5Pointz” litigation, a case involving visual artists’ moral-rights claims to graffiti they drew on a piece of private property in Queens, New York, this article examines the threat that Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA)’s grant to visual artists of the right “to prevent any destruction of a work of recognized stature” poses to common-law property and contract rights. This article advances the argument that the default legal rule should be that the rights of property owners (real or personal), including the right to destroy such properties, trump any moral rights that visual artists claim are affixed to a property. Ultimately, this article recommends repealing the aforementioned right “to prevent any destruction of a work of recognized stature,” leaving the traditional rules of property law and contract law to determine when, if ever, visual artists’ moral rights have legal priority over the rights of property owners.
The Visual Artists Rights Act's "Recognized Stature" Provision: A Case for Repeal,
67 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol67/iss3/6