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
With the hope of reducing the amount of graffiti tagging, the City of West Dallas has designated a “free wall” for graffiti artists. Located on an abandoned warehouse, this sanctioned graffiti wall is the first of seven walls planned to be designated throughout the city over the next few years.
Assistant Chief Randall Blankenbaker said, “We hope you will not only display your talents here, but make your influence on
younger artists to do this in a way that is legal.”
The City currently receives approximately 60 graffiti reports per month. Only time will tell if this Graffiti Free Wall experiment will increase or decrease the total amount of tagging.
More detail at Dallas Morning News.
From Clean City Innovation Graffiti Watch