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VARA has teeth: $6.7 million for 21 5POINTZ artists

VARA has teeth: $6.7 million for 21 5POINTZ artists

As a fan of Banksy it was interesting to read that a federal court in New York has awarded$6.7 million to 21 artists under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA).

The murals (don’t call them graffiti) were legally on a large oldfactory building complex in Queens, rented out as artists studios. The buildings were known as 5POINTZ and were a well known tourist attraction and a “graffiti mecca”.

The murals were painted over and the building demolished to make way for a new development of condos, against the wishes of the artists.

VARA introduced moral rights into US copyright law and provides inter alia protection against “any destruction of a work of recognized stature and any intentional or grossly negligent destruction of that work is a violation of that right”.