Will the Visual Artists Rights Act Prevent Cities from Removing Offensive Artwork?
The current debate over the removal of statues honoring Confederate soldiers has led at least one commentator to question whether a federal statute protecting the moral rights of artists might prevent their removal. See Cathy Gellis, Because of Course There Are Copyright Implications with Confederacy Monuments, Techdirt (Aug. 18, 2017, 11:55 AM), https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170818/09155838022/because-course-there-are-copyright-implications-with-confederacy-monuments.shtml. Due to the age and nature of most Confederate statues, it is unlikely that laws such as the Visual Artists Rights Act would prevent their removal. Brian Frye, Moral Rights & Confederate Monuments, Faculty Lounge (Aug. 21, 2017, 12:18 AM), http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2017/08/moral-rights-confederate-statutes.html. However, because of changing societal norms, it may well be the case that such laws will prevent the removal of other public art that is deemed offensive.