Mercury Soapbox

photographer, mixed media artist, organizer, promoter, event planner, passive activist, energy connoisseur, universe thanker, life enthusiast
“I like art, and by art I mean music, poetry, sex, paintings, the human body, literature. All of this is art to me.” — Hunter Reveu

Game changer for Graffiti… At least in california

California Civil Code Section 987 (art protection)

  • (a) The Legislature hereby finds and declares that the
    physical alteration or destruction of fine art, which is an
    expression of the artist's personality, is detrimental to the artist'
    s reputation, and artists therefore have an interest in protecting
    their works of fine art against any alteration or destruction; and
    that there is also a public interest in preserving the integrity of
    cultural and artistic creations.
       (b) As used in this section:
       (1) "Artist" means the individual or individuals who create a work
    of fine art.
       (2) "Fine art" means an original painting, sculpture, or drawing,
    or an original work of art in glass, of recognized quality, but shall
    not include work prepared under contract for commercial use by its
    purchaser.
       (3) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation,
    limited liability company, association or other group, however
    organized.
       (4) "Frame" means to prepare, or cause to be prepared, a work of
    fine art for display in a manner customarily considered to be
    appropriate for a work of fine art in the particular medium.
       (5) "Restore" means to return, or cause to be returned, a
    deteriorated or damaged work of fine art as nearly as is feasible to
    its original state or condition, in accordance with prevailing
    standards.
       (6) "Conserve" means to preserve, or cause to be preserved, a work
    of fine art by retarding or preventing deterioration or damage
    through appropriate treatment in accordance with prevailing standards
    in order to maintain the structural integrity to the fullest extent
    possible in an unchanging state.
       (7) "Commercial use" means fine art created under a work-for-hire
    arrangement for use in advertising, magazines, newspapers, or other
    print and electronic media.
       (c) (1) No person, except an artist who owns and possesses a work
    of fine art which the artist has created, shall intentionally commit,
    or authorize the intentional commission of, any physical defacement,
    mutilation, alteration, or destruction of a work of fine art.
       (2) In addition to the prohibitions contained in paragraph (1), no
    person who frames, conserves, or restores a work of fine art shall
    commit, or authorize the commission of, any physical defacement,
    mutilation, alteration, or destruction of a work of fine art by any
    act constituting gross negligence. For purposes of this section, the
    term "gross negligence" shall mean the exercise of so slight a degree
    of care as to justify the belief that there was an indifference to
    the particular work of fine art.
       (d) The artist shall retain at all times the right to claim
    authorship, or, for a just and valid reason, to disclaim authorship
    of his or her work of fine art.
       (e) To effectuate the rights created by this section, the artist
    may commence an action to recover or obtain any of the following:
       (1) Injunctive relief.
       (2) Actual damages.
       (3) Punitive damages. In the event that punitive damages are
    awarded, the court shall, in its discretion, select an organization
    or organizations engaged in charitable or educational activities
    involving the fine arts in California to receive any punitive
    damages.
       (4) Reasonable attorneys' and expert witness fees.
       (5) Any other relief which the court deems proper.
       (f) In determining whether a work of fine art is of recognized
    quality, the trier of fact shall rely on the opinions of artists, art
    dealers, collectors of fine art, curators of art museums, and other
    persons involved with the creation or marketing of fine art.
       (g) The rights and duties created under this section:
       (1) Shall, with respect to the artist, or if any artist is
    deceased, his or her heir, beneficiary, devisee, or personal
    representative, exist until the 50th anniversary of the death of the
    artist.
       (2) Shall exist in addition to any other rights and duties which
    may now or in the future be applicable.
       (3) Except as provided in paragraph (1) of subdivision (h), may
    not be waived except by an instrument in writing expressly so
    providing which is signed by the artist.
       (h) (1) If a work of fine art cannot be removed from a building
    without substantial physical defacement, mutilation, alteration, or
    destruction of the work, the rights and duties created under this
    section, unless expressly reserved by an instrument in writing signed
    by the owner of the building, containing a legal description of the
    property and properly recorded, shall be deemed waived. The
    instrument, if properly recorded, shall be binding on subsequent
    owners of the building.
       (2) If the owner of a building wishes to remove a work of fine art
    which is a part of the building but which can be removed from the
    building without substantial harm to the fine art, and in the course
    of or after removal, the owner intends to cause or allow the fine art
    to suffer physical defacement, mutilation, alteration, or
    destruction, the rights and duties created under this section shall
    apply unless the owner has diligently attempted without success to
    notify the artist, or, if the artist is deceased, his or her heir,
    beneficiary, devisee, or personal representative, in writing of his
    or her intended action affecting the work of fine art, or unless he
    or she did provide notice and that person failed within 90 days
    either to remove the work or to pay for its removal. If the work is
    removed at the expense of the artist, his or her heir, beneficiary,
    devisee, or personal representative, title to the fine art shall pass
    to that person.
       (3) If a work of fine art can be removed from a building scheduled
    for demolition without substantial physical defacement, mutilation,
    alteration, or destruction of the work, and the owner of the building
    has notified the owner of the work of fine art of the scheduled
    demolition or the owner of the building is the owner of the work of
    fine art, and the owner of the work of fine art elects not to remove
    the work of fine art, the rights and duties created under this
    section shall apply, unless the owner of the building has diligently
    attempted without success to notify the artist, or, if the artist is
    deceased, his or her heir, beneficiary, devisee, or personal
    representative, in writing of the intended action affecting the work
    of fine art, or unless he or she did provide notice and that person
    failed within 90 days either to remove the work or to pay for its
    removal. If the work is removed at the expense of the artist, his or
    her heir, beneficiary, devisee, or personal representative, title to
    the fine art shall pass to that person.
       (4) Nothing in this subdivision shall affect the rights of
    authorship created in subdivision (d) of this section.
       (i) No action may be maintained to enforce any liability under
    this section unless brought within three years of the act complained
    of or one year after discovery of the act, whichever is longer.
       (j) This section shall become operative on January 1, 1980, and
    shall apply to claims based on proscribed acts occurring on or after
    that date to works of fine art whenever created.
       (k) If any provision of this section or the application thereof to
    any person or circumstance is held invalid for any reason, the
    invalidity shall not affect any other provisions or applications of
    this section which can be effected without the invalid provision or
    application, and to this end the provisions of this section are
    severable.

United States Code, Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 106A (visual artists rights act)

  • (a) Rights of Attribution and Integrity.— Subject to section 107 and independent of the exclusive rights provided in section 106, the author of a work of visual art—
    (1) shall have the right—
    (A) to claim authorship of that work, and
    (B) to prevent the use of his or her name as the author of any work of visual art which he or she did not create;
    (2) shall have the right to prevent the use of his or her name as the author of the work of visual art in the event of a distortion, mutilation, or other modification of the work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation; and
    (3) subject to the limitations set forth in section 113 (d), shall have the right—
    (A) to prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation, and any intentional distortion, mutilation, or modification of that work is a violation of that right, and
    (B) to prevent any destruction of a work of recognized stature, and any intentional or grossly negligent destruction of that work is a violation of that right.
    (b) Scope and Exercise of Rights.— Only the author of a work of visual art has the rights conferred by subsection (a) in that work, whether or not the author is the copyright owner. The authors of a joint work of visual art are coowners of the rights conferred by subsection (a) in that work.
    (c) Exceptions.—
    (1) The modification of a work of visual art which is a result of the passage of time or the inherent nature of the materials is not a distortion, mutilation, or other modification described in subsection (a)(3)(A).
    (2) The modification of a work of visual art which is the result of conservation, or of the public presentation, including lighting and placement, of the work is not a destruction, distortion, mutilation, or other modification described in subsection (a)(3) unless the modification is caused by gross negligence.
    (3) The rights described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall not apply to any reproduction, depiction, portrayal, or other use of a work in, upon, or in any connection with any item described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of the definition of “work of visual art” in section 101, and any such reproduction, depiction, portrayal, or other use of a work is not a destruction, distortion, mutilation, or other modification described in paragraph (3) of subsection (a).
    (d) Duration of Rights.—
    (1) With respect to works of visual art created on or after the effective date set forth in section 610(a) of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, the rights conferred by subsection (a) shall endure for a term consisting of the life of the author.
    (2) With respect to works of visual art created before the effective date set forth in section 610(a) of the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990, but title to which has not, as of such effective date, been transferred from the author, the rights conferred by subsection (a) shall be coextensive with, and shall expire at the same time as, the rights conferred by section 106.
    (3) In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more authors, the rights conferred by subsection (a) shall endure for a term consisting of the life of the last surviving author.
    (4) All terms of the rights conferred by subsection (a) run to the end of the calendar year in which they would otherwise expire.
    (e) Transfer and Waiver.—
    (1) The rights conferred by subsection (a) may not be transferred, but those rights may be waived if the author expressly agrees to such waiver in a written instrument signed by the author. Such instrument shall specifically identify the work, and uses of that work, to which the waiver applies, and the waiver shall apply only to the work and uses so identified. In the case of a joint work prepared by two or more authors, a waiver of rights under this paragraph made by one such author waives such rights for all such authors.
    (2) Ownership of the rights conferred by subsection (a) with respect to a work of visual art is distinct from ownership of any copy of that work, or of a copyright or any exclusive right under a copyright in that work. Transfer of ownership of any copy of a work of visual art, or of a copyright or any exclusive right under a copyright, shall not constitute a waiver of the rights conferred by subsection (a). Except as may otherwise be agreed by the author in a written instrument signed by the author, a waiver of the rights conferred by subsection (a) with respect to a work of visual art shall not constitute a transfer of ownership of any copy of that work, or of ownership of a copyright or of any exclusive right under a copyright in that work.
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