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NY judge awards graffiti artists 6.7 million after building owner removes graffiti Login/Join 
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posted
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/0...affiti-judgment.html


Ruling that graffiti — a typically transient form of art — was of sufficient stature to be protected by the law, a federal judge in Brooklyn awarded a judgment of $6.7 million on Monday to 21 graffiti artists whose works were destroyed in 2013 at the 5Pointz complex in Long Island City, Queens.

In November, a landmark trial came to a close in Federal District Court in Brooklyn when a civil jury decided that Jerry Wolkoff, a real estate developer who owned 5Pointz, broke the law when he whitewashed dozens of swirling murals at the complex, obliterating what a lawyer for the artists had called “the world’s largest open-air aerosol museum.”

Though Mr. Wolkoff’s lawyers had argued that the buildings were his to treat as he pleased, the jury found he violated the Visual Artists Rights Act, or V.A.R.A., which has been used to protect public art of “recognized stature” created on someone’s else property.

In an odd legal twist, the judge at that trial, Frederic Block, altered the verdict at the 11th hour to make it merely a recommendation. But on Monday, Judge Block upheld the jury’s decision, and his ruling awarded the artists the maximum damages possible, saying that 45 of the dozens of ruined murals had enough artistic stature to merit being protected. The jury had found that only 36 of the works should be guarded under V.A.R.A.

From the start, the 5Pointz case had pitted two of New York City’s most prominent sectors against each other: the art world and the real estate business. Judge Block’s ruling — and the size of the judgment he awarded — was a decisive victory for the former, said Dean Nicyper, a partner who specializes in art law at the firm Withers Bergman.

“There have been other instances where graffiti artists have been recognized as deserving protection,” Mr. Nicyper said, adding that courts have ruled that clothing designers who cribbed ideas from graffiti artists were liable for intellectual theft. But the 5Pointz case, he said, was the first time that graffiti and graffiti artists were protected under V.A.R.A.

David Ebert, a lawyer for Mr. Wolkoff, did not return a call seeking comment.

Eric Baum, a lawyer for the artists, hailed the judgment, calling it “a victory not only for the artists in this case, but for artists all around the country.”

“The clear message is that art protected by federal law must be cherished and not destroyed,” Mr. Baum said. “With this win, the spirit of 5Pointz becomes a legacy for generations of artists to come.”


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Posts: 3751 | Location: Pittsburgh, PA, USA | Registered: February 27, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
The Unmanned Writer
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I'd be appealing.

Somebody paints my building and they identify themselves when I paint over their "art" and Ima suing them for damages and compensation for removing the "art."







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Posts: 9143 | Location: It was Lat: 33.xxxx Lon: 44.xxxx now it's CA :( | Registered: March 22, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
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Who owns the property?
 
Posts: 14999 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Unapologetic Old
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Someone needs to go add a shit ton of "visual art" to that judges house, car, roof, etc.


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Posts: 7850 | Location: TN | Registered: December 18, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Is this from the "Onion"?


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Posts: 5719 | Location: Arizona | Registered: August 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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This explains it a bit better

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/1...rotected-by-law.html

seems, the owner had been allowing it for some time and possibly even "partnering" with the "artists", for over 20 years. That is a lot different than someone tagging your building one night and you painting over it the next day. Always more to the story.
 
Posts: 1398 | Registered: September 19, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Too old to run,
too mean to quit!
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quote:
Originally posted by LS1 GTO:
I'd be appealing.

Somebody paints my building and they identify themselves when I paint over their "art" and Ima suing them for damages and compensation for removing the "art."


In a heart beat!

Wonder how long it will be before they start "decorating" private homes, etc.

There must be some serious shit in the water in that dump.


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Posts: 23095 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 16, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Big Stack
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It looks like there were some rules the owner was supposed to follow, but didn't. That's a major reason for the big judgement.

But I know one thing that will come out of this. No building owner will ever again voluntarily allow graffiti "artists" to use their buildings as canvasses. The'll paint over anything the second it's done.
 
Posts: 17839 | Registered: November 05, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Just because you can,
doesn't mean you should
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This is what happens when the moochers and looters get a hold of the court system and the government.
 
Posts: 3975 | Location: North GA | Registered: August 22, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
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quote:
Originally posted by Southflorida-law:
seems, the owner had been allowing it for some time and possibly even "partnering" with the "artists", for over 20 years. That is a lot different than someone tagging your building one night and you painting over it the next day. Always more to the story.


Always.

quote:
In an odd legal twist, the judge at that trial, Frederic Block, altered the verdict at the 11th hour to make it merely a recommendation. But on Monday, Judge Block upheld the jury’s decision, and his ruling awarded the artists the maximum damages possible


For the lawyers here, what would be the purpose/effect of the Judge altering the jury's verdict to just be a "recommendation", especially since he went along with their decision in the end?

Perhaps to impede it from being used as legal precedent/case law in later cases? Or was he maybe initially planning to go against their decision?
 
Posts: 20567 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
This is what happens when the moochers and looters get a hold of the court system and the government.

....and your property
 
Posts: 2683 | Registered: August 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Coin Sniper
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I'd go to the closest hardware store, buy every color of Krylon that I could, head back the courthouse and start painting away..... art is art right?

I'd also use the civil court records to have the artist charged with vandalism.




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Posts: 33769 | Location: Above the snow line in Michigan | Registered: May 21, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Southflorida-law:
This explains it a bit better

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/1...rotected-by-law.html

seems, the owner had been allowing it for some time and possibly even "partnering" with the "artists", for over 20 years. That is a lot different than someone tagging your building one night and you painting over it the next day. Always more to the story.
No its not. The owner of the building decides what goes on it, or doesn't go on it. End of story. This judge, not until many liberal/progressive states around this country has openly ignored what personal property is, and what that means.


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Posts: 25980 | Location: Orlando, FL | Registered: April 30, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by bigdeal:No its not. The owner of the building decides what goes on it, or doesn't go on it. End of story. This judge, not until many liberal/progressive states around this country has openly ignored what personal property is, and what that means.


This has nothing to do with liberal/conservative. You all have an article that condenses a trial with multiple plaintiffs down to a few paragraphs. Words and actions can create "contracts" that are enforceable. Truly the worst place to get information regarding a trial is a news article, you're lucky if they get 1/4 of the facts right.

I believe its the Rockefeller center (or some building in NY) that every so many years has to close their sidewalk for a day to avoid a prescriptive easement, making private property public. Not saying that applies to this case, but sounds similar.
 
Posts: 1398 | Registered: September 19, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
I believe in the
principle of
Due Process
Picture of JALLEN
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Southflorida-law:
quote:
Originally posted by bigdeal:No its not. The owner of the building decides what goes on it, or doesn't go on it. End of story. This judge, not until many liberal/progressive states around this country has openly ignored what personal property is, and what that means.


This has nothing to do with liberal/conservative. You all have an article that condenses a trial with multiple plaintiffs down to a few paragraphs. Words and actions can create "contracts" that are enforceable. Truly the worst place to get information regarding a trial is a news article, you're lucky if they get 1/4 of the facts right.

I believe its the Rockefeller center (or some building in NY) that every so many years has to close their sidewalk for a day to avoid a prescriptive easement, making private property public. Not saying that applies to this case, but sounds similar.


I bet the judge read the Visual Arts Rights Act and felt obliged to follow the law. Crazy!




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Posts: 45767 | Location: Texas hill country | Registered: July 04, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
quarter MOA visionary
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So who gets the money (besides the Gonof lawyers)?
 
Posts: 14999 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Now in Florida
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I'm not all that familiar with VARA, but I wonder if there is a case to be made that it violates the Takings Clause of the US Constitution.
 
Posts: 4667 | Location: FL | Registered: March 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Don't Panic
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quote:
Originally posted by gpbst3:
what a lawyer for the artists had called “the world’s largest open-air aerosol museum.”


I think that guy deserves an award for "Most Creative Use of English".
 
Posts: 11900 | Location: North Carolina | Registered: October 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Insanity run amuck.


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Posts: 10377 | Location: Carolina but Texas in my heart | Registered: November 13, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Can someone come up with a hypothetical situation that would legitimately spur this legislation in the first place?



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Posts: 1296 | Registered: November 05, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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