Graffiti and the Moral Right of Integrity

Marta Iljadica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Graffiti and street art have, in some cities, become a draw for the local community and visitors alike. This article explores the applicability of the right to object to derogatory treatment (UK) and the prevention of destruction of works of recognised stature (US) to graffiti. It argues that even where permission has been granted by property owners and these creations constitute original artistic works, it would be difficult for authors to avail themselves of moral rights protection when their works are fully or partially destroyed by building owners. Authors are unlikely to succeed because the destruction is unlikely to be "treatment" and because reputation will be difficult to demonstrate. Similar problems arise with demonstrating reputation under the "recognized stature" provision of the Visual Artists Rights Act in the US. Notwithstanding that moral rights seek to recognise the author’s dignity, a concern with respectability makes the preservation of graffiti unlikely.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-288
Number of pages23
JournalIntellectual Property Quarterly
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Defacement
  • Derogatory treatment
  • Artistic works
  • Integrity right
  • United States


Dive into the research topics of 'Graffiti and the Moral Right of Integrity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this