Legal Information

Broken Windows Policing Doesn't Work

'Broken windows' policing doesn’t bring down felonies, study says

New York's police department believes that enforcing laws against petty crime helps with felony deterrence, but many departments are shifting away from this model.

By Deepti Hajela, Associated Press JUNE 23, 2016
Read the NY OIG report (PDF)

NEW YORK — A data analysis found no link between enforcement of low-level quality-of-life crimes and the felony crime rate, the office charged with overseeing New York City's police department said Wednesday.

The report took pains to make clear it was not commenting on the New York Police Department's overall "broken windows" policing approach, but critics of the policy said the findings were proof that going after low-level crimes as a way of deterring larger ones doesn't work. The NYPD called the report flawed.

The inspector general for the police, which is part of the city's Department of Investigation and independent of the NYPD, looked at data for offenses like public urination and public drinking from 2010 to 2015, as well as felony arrest data. In that period, the number of summonses and misdemeanor arrests issued for those acts decreased, but there was no increase in felony crime.

Tag a US Nat. Park, Redditors Will Find You

Graffiti artist banned from 20% of US after Reddit users' investigation

Casey Nocket banned from all US national parks and sentenced to 200 hours of community service after users on Reddit tracked her down through social media

The Guardian UK
Tuesday 21 June 2016 18.03 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 22 June 2016 17.00 EDT

A graffiti artist has been banned from all national parks and other federally administered land – that’s more than 20% of the US – for vandalism after Reddit users tracked her down on social media.

Casey Nocket was also sentenced to 200 hours of community service and a fine for drawing faces in acrylic paint in at least six national parks: Death Valley, Colorado National Monument, Canyonlands, Zion and Crater Lake.

Under each picture she left her tag “Creepytings”, which was also the name of her Tumblr blog and Instagram account.

After Nocket wrote in an Instagram post that she had used acrylic paint – which is very difficult to clean off – another user questioned her about it and she responded: “I know, I’m a bad person.”

Nocket’s devil-may-care attitude came back to haunt her, however, when outraged Reddit users tracked her down and reported her to the National Parks Service.

Nocket, a New York-based graffiti artist, first came to the attention of Reddit’s climbing and hiking community when a backpacker posted a picture of one of her works that they had found on a trail in Yosemite. Users quickly began talking about the “National Park Vandal”.

Rime v Scott: Arguing Graffiti Cannot be Protected

Graffiti Cannot be Copyright Protected, Claims Moschino, Jeremy Scott
(originally posted on The Fashion Law)
 

The latest update in the Rime vs. Jeremy Scott and Moschino graffiti copying case: The creative director and the Italian design house filed to have the Brooklyn-based graffiti artist’s case dismissed, arguing that he does not have standing to bring claims of copyright infringement because the work was an act of vandalism and should not be protected by law.

In a motion for summary judgment filed on Monday, Moschino and Jeremy Scott asked the court to dismiss the case because the artist, whose name is Joseph Tierney, is an "unabashed felon." According to Moschino and Scott, Tierney did not obtain permission from the building owner in Detroit, Michigan before creating his mural, known as "Vandal Eyes." According to their motion, "As a matter of public policy and basic logic, it would make no sense to grant legal protection to work that is created entirely illegally.”

They continued on to note: "Brazen and willful violations of the law cannot, and, indeed, should not result in the award of copyright privileges," they said. [Note: Rime has previously alleged that he was invited to create the mural at issue on a building in Detroit in 2012].

A Lawyer Talks about Copyrights in Street Art

6 Things You Must Know About Copyrights in Street Art
Megan Ralstin for Art Law Journal

Artist’s rights in their street art, whether commissioned or guerrilla, has been in the news with some frequency lately, largely due to suits against American Eagle and Terry Gilliam. The slippery nature of copyright law has left many wondering where to draw the line between taking a photograph with street art in the background and taking a photo that infringes on a copyright. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers. As we have pointed out before, artwork used without permission may not be considered an infringement. Rather, unauthorized use exists on a spectrum with clear infringement on one end and fair use on the other.

Miami’s Wynwood district has become a hotspot for street art. Recently, American Eagle used murals from one of Miami’s most well-known street artists, AholSniffsGlue, in its latest advertising campaign. Thanks to Ahol’s suit against American Eagle, many Miami artists have been wondering what rights they may have in the art that they have created on public walls on public streets. At the same time, many photographers, journalists, and bloggers have been wondering if they are exposing themselves to liability when they photograph street art.

To help clear up some of the confusion, LegalLink, a legal resource for artists organized by Cannonball, hosted a lecture with a question-and-answer segment in Miami, Florida on September 17th. As well as answering audience questions, the presenter pulled representative comments from news websites to illustrate come commonly held misconceptions about copyright in public art. You can watch the entire presentation and download the PDF here.

Who owns street art (UK)

Who owns street art?
21 September 2015 By Tim Maxwell, Becky Shaw, Andrew Bruce for Law Society Gazette

In a judgment handed down on 11 September in The Creative Foundation v Dreamland Leisure Limited [2015] EWHC 2556 (Ch), the High Court held that a tenant was not entitled to remove a Banksy mural from the wall of its leasehold property and must deliver it up to the claimant.

As well as being one of the first cases to consider the ownership of street art, it also raises points of general importance in landlord and tenant law.

The mural in question, ‘Art Buff’ (pictured), appeared on the back of an amusement arcade in Folkestone in late September 2014 during the Folkestone Triennial, a public art event organised by the Creative Foundation, a charity promoting the arts as part of the regeneration of the town. Art Buff quickly became popular locally, but just over a month after it first appeared, the tenant of the property, Dreamland Leisure Ltd, arranged for the mural to be cut out of the wall, without the landlord’s knowledge or permission, and then sent to the US where it was offered for sale.

San Francisco hitting up graffiti vandals with costly civil suits

San Francisco hitting up graffiti vandals with costly civil suits

By C.W. Nevius for the SF Chronicle
August 21, 2015 Updated: August 21, 2015 5:16pm

Everyone knows how difficult it is to stop the graffiti tagging epidemic in the city. First, it’s nearly impossible to catch anyone in the act. And if cops do, a criminal case in the courts often results in minor consequences, like a few hours of community service.

A walk down virtually any graffiti-tagged street in the city tells you criminal charges aren’t having much of an effect.

So, San Francisco is changing the game. We’re making it personal.

In an innovative and clever legal maneuver, the city attorney’s office is asking the courts to treat the city like any other property owner and allow it to sue for damages to pay for graffiti cleanup. It makes for some odd phrasing when the complaint says, “Plaintiff is . . . the owner of real personal property in San Francisco, consisting of Muni buses.”

But that’s how San Francisco has filed a civil suit against a woman officials say is an infamous serial tagger. The city alleges that Cozy Terry (her real name according to the complaint) tags as “Coze” and is responsible for 28 separate acts of vandalism on city buses. In all, the 41-page complaint lists 58 cases of tagging and adds up the cost of cleanup and repair. The total should get the attention of graffiti scofflaws.

“It is at least $53,788,” said Jill Cannon, one of the two deputy city attorneys who is making the case. “I don’t know what her assets are, but if we get a judgment we will seek to collect.”

Activists Arrested for Chalking Sidewalk

4 Activists Arrested for Chalking “Save the Animals”
by WILL POTTER on JULY 28, 2015
in TERRORISM COURT CASES (Green is the New Red)

(<<< An example of activist stencil chalking)

Four animal rights activists have been arrested for allegedly writing political slogans on the public street using sidewalk chalk.

The four were arrested in Beaverton, Oregon, and face charges of harassment, criminal mischief, and disorderly conduct.

The chalking was done as part of the growing “No New Animal Lab” campaign, which aims to stop the construction of a new underground animal experimentation facility at the University of Washington.

Shepard Fairey's Arrest Begs Question: Art or Vandalism?

How Shepard Fairey's arrest provides a new look at an old question: Is it art or is it vandalism?

By DEBORAH VANKIN AND DAVID NG (LA Times)

Shepard Fairey has never been one to play by the rules — and that's par for the course for someone in a street art community that exists on the cultural margins.

Or does it?

The L.A.-based street artist and graphic designer, best known for his 2008 "Hope" poster timed with Barack Obama's presidential campaign as well as the "Obey" image seen on posters and T-shirts worldwide, was arrested last week while passing through customs at Los Angeles International Airport. Authorities there noticed that Detroit police had issued a warrant last month related to two counts of malicious destruction of property.

Fairey, 45, had been accused of putting up posters, without permission, on private and government property in Detroit. But once he was in custody in L.A., Detroit police backed off: They declined to extradite the artist.

"In terms of graffiti, it's not as high as a murder or rape or something," Detroit police Officer Dan Donakowski said Monday, a day before Fairey surrendered to Detroit police and was quickly arraigned and released.

SF artist's Pride show squashed

SF artist's Pride show squashed by foundation, due to assault claims
By Chris Roberts @cbloggy (Examiner)

Street artist Jeremy Novy is no stranger to controversy.

Before he won commissions to put his signature stencils of koi fish on public and private property in The City, his art — pasted on sidewalks and buildings — sometimes broke the law.

Starting Monday, Novy — a rare LGBT street artist in the hetero-dominated world of taggers and stencilists — was supposed to have a monthlong gay culture-themed show in the Castro.

Called “PHONE SEX = SAFE SEX,” the show was to run throughout Pride Month at Magnet, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation-run sexual health clinic in The Castro.

That’s all over now.

Woman convicted for posting street art on Instagram

Here is an update from a 2013 post about the arrest:

Woman Found Guilty of Criminal Harassment for Instagramming Street Art
by Benjamin Sutton on May 18, 2015 for Hyperallergic

Jennifer Pawluck, the Montrealer who was arrested in 2013 for posting a photo of a piece of street art on Instagram, has been convicted of criminal harassment and, on Thursday, was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and 18 months probation. Her community service must be completed within a year.

The 22-year-old college student has also been forbidden from posting any public messages on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and must restrict her use of the social media platforms to private communications for the next year, according to the Montreal Gazette. She had faced maximum penalties of up to six months in jail and a fine of $5,000.

Reached via Facebook, Pawluck told Hyperallergic: “I am unfortunately not responding to any media questions … following my sentencing I’d prefer to keep a very low profile.”

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