Mar 12, 2020

Can’t Touch This: Visual Artists’ “Moral Rights” and Real Estate Implications

Photo of Artist painting on wall

On Thursday, February 20, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit released a long-awaited final ruling on an issue of first impression regarding interpretation of the Visual Rights Act of 1990 (“VARA”). VARA provides unique federal protection granting artists of eligible visual artworks, regardless of whether the artist is the copyright owner, certain moral rights in their visual works. The rights include the ability to prevent any “intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification” of their work that would be prejudicial to the artist’s “honor or reputation,” and to prevent any destruction of a work of “recognized… Read more