Property Owners in San Francisco can Sue Graffiti Taggers for cost of Graffiti Abatement?
As the frequency of graffiti tagging continues to rise, so too do the costs for cleaning it up. In a creative attempt to force the graffiti taggers to shoulder a greater percentage of the financial burden, both to cover real abatement costs and to discourage future graffiti tagging, in San Francisco, the City Attorney is filed a civil law suit against a graffiti taggers to cover the costs of cleaning up her graffiti tags. The complaint lists 58 tags and assigns the remediation cost at $53,788 or $927.38 per graffiti tag.
In this case, most of the property owners will be city or transit agencies.
City graffiti abatement staff photograph graffiti tags prior to removing them using the city's 311 app so that a database of graffiti tags can be accumulated.
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
Bellville, Illinois - A new proposed ordinance requires property owners to be responsible for removing graffiti on their property within 14 days of notice by county officials with a fine of $75 to $750 a day for each day the graffiti remains.
More at KMOV.com St. Louis
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is fed up with the graffiti that detracts from the vibrancy of Toronto’s neighborhoods. To help launch the Clean Toronto Together campaign to eradicate graffiti, the Mayor rolled up his sleeves and working with volunteers to remove a graffiti tags.
“Everybody’s had enough of the graffiti,” Ford said. “We’re fighting back.”
Ford said the city removed 8,000 square metres of graffiti in 2012 and he hopes to improve on that record this year
More detail at The Toronto Star.
Success. The wall has now been transformed into a great mural. Check out the photos at National Post Toronto
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island – Legislation in the Rhode Island State Senate proposes to make graffiti a felony.
According to bill’s sponsor, Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin, “Graffiti is a serious crime that causes damage to property and costs owners hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair. Often it can’t really be fully repaired at all. But worse, it makes neighborhoods look run-down and uncared for, sending a message to others that it won’t matter if they decide to add more graffiti, litter or blight to the area. Graffiti has a significant indirect effect on the quality of life in addition to the direct physical damage it causes, so it really should be handled seriously.”
The legislation would make graffiti a felony where there was more than $1,000 of damage. Repeat offenders would be potentially subject to $1,000 fine, 200 hours of community service, and up to a year in jail.
The legislation would allow the court to order convicted graffiti tagger to pay for the full cost of the damage.
The guardians of convicted minors could be held responsible for up to $1,000 of restitution for damages.
“Graffiti shouldn’t be treated lightly. It’s a genuine crime with real victims and high costs. It robs neighborhoods of their quality of life, and those who commit that vandalism should be held responsible for their actions,” said Senator Goodwin.
More at WPRI.com.
From Clean City Innovation Graffiti Watch