One of the worst books to ever be published on graffiti, Tattooed Walls, is getting the punishment it deserves. The book was pulled by its publisher University Press of Mississippi, shortly after it was released when a group of graffiti artists whose work was in the book claimed that the photographer, and man behind the book, Peter Rosenstein violated their copyrights by not getting their permission. The Chelsea Gallery show of photos from the book probably wasn’t a good idea either. But this does bring up an interesting copyright question, especially for work that is done illegally and in the public:
Jane Ginsburg, a professor of intellectual property law at Columbia University, said that creative works are automatically protected regardless of where they are displayed. The extent of protection, she said, varied depending on whether a piece was registered with the federal copyright office at the time of the alleged infringement.
But with most graffiti being illegal, how can artists register their work? Either way, although ANIMAL completely and wholeheartedly respects the rights of public artists, extending any kind of wholesale copyright protection might actually do more harm in the end than some shitty book done by an disrespectful outsider asshole.
Walls of Art for Everyone, but Made by Not Just Anyone |NYT|