Is graffiti copyright ?

'Is it legal', 'can I do this' type questions and discussions.
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PICSL8
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Is graffiti copyright ?

Post by PICSL8 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:51 pm

By 'graffiti' I am using the dictionary definition which describes it as 'illicit'.

I'm Ok on normal stuff - like respecting TM and copyright generally but my opinion - which I'd like clarified please is :-

Graffiti is illegal. It is a concept of UK law that a person may not benefit from illegal activity. I am told that (but would like confirmed also please that the legal maxim is known as 'Non faciat malum, ut inde veniat bonum'.

So - as graffiti is illegal, that much is fact I am of the opinon that the graffiti doer can not claim copyright protection on their graffiti.

The other possibilty is that they could own copyright of it but would not be able to legally enforce it ?
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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:19 am

Hi Steve,
Since you have already seen my earlier posting on this subject, kindly quoted on another forum, I can just confirm that I think your last sentence sums up the situation: no court would enforce the copyright which is probably inherent in the more artistic forms of graffiti.
Interestingly it has recently been suggested (and here)that some porn films might also have unenforceable copyright because their subject matter is morally reprehensible if not actually illegal. Needless to say this view was voiced in America.
Last edited by AndyJ on Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PICSL8
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Thank you

Post by PICSL8 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:22 pm

Thanks Andy - A member of 4N business networking was kind enough credit this site as his source and send me this way.

By way of totall clearing my mind on this is the maxim as quoted "no-one should be able to use the law to profit from an illegal act" substantionable in law ?

My thanks for your help here - It is very much appreciated.
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Post by AndyJ » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:01 pm

The law is littered with maxims like that, which are used as shorthand for principles which span most branches of law, but mainly in equity. They have no statutory basis, but usually have broad common law precedents. They endure because they are generally commonsense rules of fairness (which is really what equity means).
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PICSL8
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Thank you

Post by PICSL8 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:22 pm

Thanks AndyJ

I can get with that.
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