Louisville, Kentucky - Philip G. Rodriguez, 25, was arrested for stealing t-shirts from a local store. The reason for the theft was that the store owner, Jeffrey Dotson, photographed graffiti on his building and printed it on t-shirts with proceeds going to support Brightside, the Louisville beautification effort. Rodriguez, a prolific graffiti tagger, claimed the image was his and that the t-shirts violated his copyright.
So is graffiti protected by copyright law? Does the photography of the tag change its status from vandalism to art? How can one claim ownership over the tag without admitting to vandalism and potential exposure to criminal charges?
More at Courier-Journal.com
Brooklyn, New York - As Jackie Robinson stood for freedom in the face of ugly racism, now his sculpture which celebrates his courage has also been subjected to similar ugly racist attack.
"There was the word "N". And next to that there was a picture of a swastika and over that it said 'Heil,'" said Patrick, an area resident.
The inscription on the sculpture includes the following words "Robinson endured racist taunts, jeers, and death threats that would have broken the spirit of a lesser man.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer released a statement saying, "Almost every Saturday morning I stop by the statue on my bike, and am deeply moved each time. Defacing the Jackie Robinson statue is a dagger in the heart to everything America stands
for, and I hope those who are responsible are caught, punished, and taught why what they did is so disgusting and offensive."
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said in a statement, "I am beyond disgusted by the defacing of this monument to tolerance and civil rights in America's Playground. This reprehensible behavior is a direct affront to the millions of Brooklynites that stand for diversity and respect. Whatever socially disconnected individual is responsible for this racist, anti-Semitic and frankly antisocial act is clearly consumed by self-hate. When apprehended by New York's Finest, I hope the punishment will serve as a strong deterrent to any punk thinking of copying these actions."
More at ABC 7 New York
Cambridge, Ontario - A typically quiet neighborhood awoke on a Sunday morning to a rash of hate graffiti on their homes and vehicles. Swastikas were found spray painted on a variety of surfaces. Neighbors were both shocked and offended.
More at CTV Kitchener
Gary Youth Leadership Council and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson are taking steps to organize motivated volunteers to remove graffiti in Gary, Indiana. The group of student volunteers, primarily between 12 and 18 year old, has quadrupled in size since it was first formed. This is a highly motivated group hoping to make a positive impact on their community
"We are improving Gary little by little," said Samantha Brooks, aged 14. "And I think we can really make a comeback."
More at nwitimes.com
Does the graffiti message matter?
Brooklyn, New York - Based on the lack of complaints from local residents, the positive message of a rash of "Believe in Love" graffiti tags seems to have won some over. Does the message matter? How about a positive message tagged over a well established mural? How about on your building?
More at NYDailyNews.com including photos.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island - After a rash of recent graffiti tagging that has blighted buildings in the industrial districts and other neighborhoods, the City's Department of Public Works devised a multi-pronged strategy to identify, track and map graffiti incidents.
According to detective Edward Berube, "if it’s not removed quickly, it sends a message that it can fester … . The objective is identifying new graffiti, quickly removing it and using the documentation”
More at ProvidenceJournal.Com
From Clean City Innovation Graffiti Watch