Vandalism

A New York lawsuit asks: Is graffiti art protected under federal law?

A New York lawsuit asks: Is graffiti art protected under federal law?

For more than a decade, they came from across New York City and around the world to leave their mark at the place they called 5Pointz.

Armed with cans of spray paint, they left bubble-lettered tags, outlined buxom cartoon women and undertook elaborate murals of a green Mother Earth and of a white-haired Dos Equis man on the walls of several interconnected warehouses in Queens.

To the creators — and the man who allowed them to paint — this wasn’t some random graffiti hurriedly slapped on a subway car. They viewed themselves as artists, and in time 5Pointz became a tourist destination.

Some of the works lasted just a day, others a year or more — part of a dynamic...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World
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