Is Graffiti Protected by Copyright?

By Catherine S. Yao

One of the latest battles over the rights to “unlawful” street art comes from fast fashion brand H&M, over marketing photographs that capture the artwork of graffiti artist Jason “Revok” Williams.  Following a demand from Williams that H&M immediately cease use of the photographs, the clothing company filed suit, asserting that Williams’ work in question was not entitled to copyright protection because the work was “unauthorized and constituted vandalism.”

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