Murals on buildings are a popular form of art these days. Some New York artists use them as a means of conveying a social message, while others simply seek to express their creativity. Though the majority of artists want people to enjoy these murals, others have concerns that companies may use them without permission in advertising, potentially profiting off of the artist’s work without proper compensation. This is what one artist alleges against carmaker Chevrolet, saying it violated copyright law when it used one of his murals in an ad.
The artist, who lives out of state, painted a flock of birds on the side of a building. He says he has contracted with other car companies in the past who have used the mural in advertising. However, he claims that Chevrolet used his mural as a backdrop for an ad for its new 2021 Trailblazer. Furthermore, other artists claim the car manufacturer has used their murals without permission.
Chevrolet has not publicly commented on these allegations yet. The artist says he has also tried to contact the photographers, but hasn’t had any luck doing so. He says his next step is to consult an area attorney who can advise him of the best way to proceed.
Working with a lawyer may be the best option for artists who feel their work has been misused. Copyright law exists to protect artists and their work and ensure that they are properly compensated when that work is used. Here in New York, artists of all mediums can benefit from filing for a copyright to protect their work.