Emory International Law Review


Chelsea Kim


With graffiti art booming, artists all around the world want their creations protected. Current copyright laws in the United States as well as Europe are incentive-based; however, this is an inadequate justification for protection when many artists are motivated by social contribution to the community. This Comment discusses graffiti protections under intellectual property law from an international standpoint—comparing the United Kingdom, France, Greece, and Germany—then analyzes graffiti protections under a progressive property theoretical framework. This Comment argues that the progressive property approach would support the need to better protect graffiti art under copyright law and to contemplate the interests of both artists and the property owner. It also argues that Germany could be a global leader in setting norms surrounding graffiti protection. A combination of U.S. case law on graffiti art and Germany’s inclusion of social obligation in its property laws could pave the way for more protective street art protections internationally.